Victorian Sydenham Brothers Silver Horseshoe and Nail Locket

Regular price $188.00
Unit price

Victorian Sydenham Brothers Silver Horseshoe and Nail Locket

Regular price $188.00
Unit price

For centuries, horseshoes have been considered a symbol of good luck and protection.

No one is quite sure when the superstition began, but legend has it that during the Middle Ages Saint Dunstan, the Archbishop of Canterbury and a skilled blacksmith, was asked by the Devil (disguised as a traveler) to re-shoe his horse.

Saint Dunstan, who saw through the traveler's disguise, instead grabbed the Devil and nailed the horseshoe to his cloven foot.

The act, naturally, caused the Devil a great deal of pain and Saint Dunstan said he would only remove the shoe if the Devil promised to never enter a building with a horseshoe mounted above the door, to which he agreed.

Soon, horseshoes were being used to protect homes from fairies, elves, witches, the Devil and other evil spirits as it was believed that these entities were afraid of horseshoes since they were made of iron and iron can withstand fire.

An interesting side note, during the Middle Ages the coffins of buried witches had a horseshoe nailed to it to prevent the witch from resurrecting.

As for why horseshoes are considered lucky, that has to do with the number of nails in the shoe: 7, the luckiest number.

It should come as no surprise that this lucky protection symbol would become a popular jewelry motif among those highly superstitious Victorians.

This sweet little Victorian locket is the ultimate good luck charm! It is handcrafted by the Sydenham Brothers in brilliant Birmingham sterling silver and features a wonderfully detailed horseshoe relief bisected with a horseshoe nail that extends over the edge of the piece.

Other examples of the Sydenham Brothers work can be found in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The horseshoe is facing down, which means it is pouring luck and good fortune onto the wearer.

Inside is a portrait of a young lady with haunting eyes.

Locket does not come with a chain.

Additional Details
Date: 1895
Materials: Sterling Silver
Weight: 3.54 g
Measurements: 1" x 5/8"
Markings: Sydenham Brothers hallmark, Lion standard mark, Anchor city mark, and V letter mark for 1895
Condition: Very Good
Silver has light surface scratches consistent with age and wear. Locket is missing glass insert on one side and the glass insert is broken on the other side.
Cleaning and Care
Remove any photos or trinkets inside before cleaning. Clean gently with warm soap and water and a soft bristled brush. Lightly polish with a jewelry polishing cloth, if needed.