From Jane Austen's time

Large medallion pendant with miniature portrait and lock of hair, England circa 1780

A window into the England of the late 18th century is opened to us by the present medallion - and gives an intimate insight into the emotional world of that distant time. The years from 1714 to 1830 went down in English history as the Georgian Era (named after Kings George I - IV). During this period, England replaced France as the dominant power in Europe and built its world-spanning colonial empire. Among the particularly popular pieces of jewellery of those years were finely painted miniature portraits, which were given and worn as tokens of love or friendship. Our piece of 8-karat rose gold jewelry, which can be worn as both a brooch and a pendant, also presents such a portrait on the front. On a disc of pale bone we see the astonishingly lifelike portrait of a mature man. He wears the typical period dress of the English landed gentry from the reign of George III, with black tricorn hat and grey powdered wig. This so-called gentry was a social class that led a tranquil country life on their estates; the very life that Jane Austen memorialized in her famous books. On the reverse, the medallion displays shimmering violet-blue guilloche enamel. Slightly raised in its center is a glazed compartment of blonde hair. The fine curl is held together by a small ribbon adorned with fine beads. We can only speculate as to the connection between the man portrayed and the hair. Possibly it belonged to his child and his wife could thus, with the medallion, carry two family members with her. Or perhaps it is a lock of hair that was once cut off the sitter as a child. Years later it would have been added to this precious shrine as a treasured possession, reminding us of the happy childhood of the long-grayed man. We will probably never know...

Portrait miniatures were the photography of their time. The depictions were often made small enough to fit in the palm of the hand. Typically, the dainty portraits were set in metal by a jeweler and worn as a ring, locket, pendant, bracelet or brooch. Others were a little larger and were lovingly displayed on writing or dressing tables or hung on the wall. Particularly often depicted were beloved persons, family members and friends, and sometimes even small landscape views.

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.