Memories carry our lives

Sentimental antique gold medallion pendant, circa 1870

In the 19th century, lockets were among the most popular jewellery gifts. No wonder, since these brooches and pendants with hidden compartments are extremely well suited to commemorate both joyful and sorrowful events and, above all, dear people. They were usually used to hold pictures of loved ones as well as sentimentally charged locks of hair or the like. So ubiquitous were lockets of all kinds that in 1870 the London Society magazine published a humorous cartoon by Alfred Thomas, appropriately titled "The Locketomanic". Here we see a fashionably dressed lady wearing and adorning herself with more than thirty different lockets on every part of her clothing. This little drawing illustrates how popular these pieces of jewellery were - and how much they liked to be worn. This pendant comes from this tradition and is oval in shape. Made of warmly gleaming gold, the center of the front cover shows a small bouquet of flowers in fine engravings in a cartouche of black enamel, accented with a small natural pearl. On the back we see a guilloche embossing on the lid. This can be opened to insert a beloved memento. The design is typical for the years around 1870 - the pendant has been preserved very well until today and found its way to us here in Berlin.

The Victorian era knew a variety of obsessions that sometimes seem somewhat strange to today's viewer. In the mid-19th century, for example, a previously unseen enthusiasm for ferns gripped the island, with young & old going in search of unusual and rare specimens of these hitherto little-noticed plants! Charles Kingsley gave the unusual mania its own name in 1855: "Pteridomania" or fern fever. Enthusiasts from all social classes amassed extensive fern collections. Even farm and mine workers were able to exchange ideas with English gentelmen about this whimsical hobby. One of the first photographers, Anna Atkins, even published a photobook on British ferns. Fern fever reached a peak at the Great Exhibition of 1862, when fern ornaments found their way into Victorian arts and crafts and went on to adorn ceramics, glass, metal, textiles, sculpture, and sometimes jewelry. It was rumored that everything from christening gifts to tombstones could be purchased in the fern look.

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.