For beautiful memories
Antique medallion with diamond & pearls in gold, around 1875
The 19th century knew a distinct culture of remembrance, which was also reflected in jewellery. People exchanged locks of hair, which they carried with them in the form of jewellery, and attributed friendly and romantic meanings to certain precious stones and jewellery motifs. In the last third of the century, the locket pendant in particular became a popular piece of jewellery, as it could be used to safely store photographs, locks of hair and letters. The present pendant is large and solidly made of solid gold. On the front it bears an ornamental overlay whose elements, such as cord soldering and small gold balls, the so-called granulation, are inspired by the jewellery of the ancient Etruscans. Small pearls and a central diamond are set into the ornament. The diamond is set in a typical Victorian manner: This setting was originally called a "gypsy setting" (now usually called a "flush mount setting") and is distinguished by the fact that it does not require any finials or bezels. Instead, the stones or pearls were set in a recess so that they lay flat with the precious metal. The goldsmith then carved small channels around the stone in a star-like fashion, using the resulting chips to form small grains that formed the actual setting. Since the setting created in this way could not get stuck anywhere, it was particularly easy to wear and quickly became very fashionable. When the locket is opened, it reveals a generous cavity in which photos, a letter or a lock of hair can be safely stored. We were able to discover the piece of jewelry in Great Britain, which is probably where it originated.
The technical and scientific development of Europe in the 19th century had made historical science the leading discipline of the time. New excavations in Italy opened up hitherto unknown epochs of European history, and especially the early period of cultures experienced a hitherto unknown interest. In Italy, the Etruscans in particular were rediscovered and their arts and crafts became known beyond the country's borders. Beyond the narrow confines of the university, the citizens of the European states also became enthusiastic about the new discoveries and sought to own jewellery, furniture and custhandic crafts in these exciting new forms. In Rome, the Castellani firm became particularly famous in this context: Fortunato Pio Castellani and his sons explored the Etruscans and were soon offering first-class jewellery for the crowned heads of the continent, adopting the formal language of these early inhabitants of the Italic peninsula. But in Germany, too, their work, which quickly became known under the term "archaeological style", was received with interest and fused with the forms of their own history.
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.