Victorian Swallow & Lily of the Valley Locket
with Black Enamel in 14k Gold
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A beautiful Victorian era locket, modeled in 14k rosy yellow gold, whose face is decorated with a poetic nature scene, in tracery enamel. In this scene, a swallow hovers over a lily of the valley flower, holding an envelope in its beak. The leaves of the plant curl, and its blossoms nod— delicate, cross-hatched details flesh out the finer points of this line-style, enameled "drawing." The body of this oval locket is textured, all over, with miniature, engraved "apostrophes" that come together, here and there, to form small pinwheels. The locket's back side features a blank plaque with an engraved, buckled garter border. This locket hangs from a decorative enameled bail. One side of its interior is lined with brown silk, the other is fitted with a celluloid photo cover. This antique locket is a rarity— we love the many meaningful symbols at work, here, and the locket's wonderful texture!
To the Victorians lily of the valley symbolized purity, youth, and a "return to happiness." The swallow symbolized love and constancy across distance and/or time, and was a popular figure in jewelry exchanged by sweethearts. The garter motif also symbolized fidelity and loyalty, so it is likely that this locket was given to someone by their intended other.
Total drop measures approx 46.6 mm (just over 1 3/4"); locket (without bail) measures approx 42.1 x 23.6 mm; depth is approx 9.65 mm.