Golden memory

Antique golden medallion pendant with enamel, around 1875

In the 19th century, the world wasn't as connected as it is today - but it was actually more connected than you might think. In Victorian London, for example, the post was delivered twelve times a day in 1889, between the early morning and evening hours, so that even spontaneous messages and appointments were possible. Telegrams could also be sent over longer distances. However, those who not only wanted to read or hear the words of a loved one, but also wanted to see them, made do with a medallion with a portrait or even a lock of hair as a tangible memento. Especially in the last third of the century, numerous photo medallions were created in a wide variety of designs. Typical for the time are simple round or oval basic forms, which then carry plastic applications. This creates an appealing contrast between flat and reliefed parts, and due to their technical-looking details and abstractions, jewellery pieces of this period often appear surprisingly modern. Numerous pieces in this particular style can be found, for example, in the famous pattern book "Die Perle" by Martin Gerlach, from which we last illustrate a page from the 1872/3 edition; cf. there in particular the piece in the centre right. The present medallion corresponds to this style. Its round basic form is enriched at the lower end by a pendulum with golden fringes, as was particularly popular in the 1870s. Gold beads and wires line up around the applied elements. An ornament gleams in the center that looks like an onyx with embedded seed pearls: but it is actually glass painted from behind that has been inserted from the underside. A personal memento can be safely stored on the back: Here is space for a photo, a note or a lock of hair.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.