Signs of remembrance

Large mourning brooch as locket, onyx, gold & pearls, England circa 1875

Memories are our most precious treasure. A picture, a lock of hair, perhaps even a small letter: we often own very personal and intimate pieces that remind us of a loved one. Carrying such objects with us at all times has a comforting effect for many people. Antique lockets are among these particularly sentimental pieces of jewelry. Worn openly yet protected from prying eyes, mementos can be safely ensconced in them in a precious casing. The present locket of the 70s of the 19th century shows itself in particularly beautiful execution. Cut from a solid black onyx, it is entirely in keeping with the taste of the time, which loved smooth and reflective surfaces. In the center of the design is set an application of gold: three letters in close ligature we see there as a monogram. 29 creamy white sea pearls are set on it, because pearls since ancient times symbolize the tears of sorrow but also the everlasting love. The letters of the monogram can be read as "I", "M" and "O", they stand for: "In memory of", the English commemorative formula that we often find on mourning jewelry of the 19th century. On the back of the brooch, a compartment allows you to keep a picture, a lock of hair or similar souvenirs. Thus, the well-preserved piece of jewelry can become a personal shrine to your memory. The locket is beautifully preserved and is a typical English mourning jewelry of the late 19th century. For dating, see Brigitte Marquardt: Jewellery. Realismus und Historismus (1850-1895), Munich/Berlin 1998, p. 231ff, with corresponding lockets of the time.

In the 19th century, lockets were undoubtedly among the most popular pieces of jewelry, enjoying the highest popularity among all social classes. Kept close to the heart, lockets could always keep alive mementos of loved ones or happy events, protected from prying eyes. When photography became affordable in the course of the century and the new light pictures replaced the previously common miniature paintings, the fashion arose to also carry these small marvels of technology in a locket. Depending on taste and purse, the jewelers and goldsmiths of those years made very different pieces from tombac, silver or gold.

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.