I finally figured out what this was and it is incredible. After months of searching with the help of some old reference books this is a very intricately carved setting of a Victorian Flip Ring. As you can see the actual ring is missing but this could be mounted on a ring or made into a pendant. It was too beautiful to discard and I'm hoping someone will make use out of it. I found it in a jewelry box in estate I acquired over a year ago, tucked in a old velvet pouch. It opens long ways and measures 1" X 3/4" when closed with a depth of 7/16" of inch (when closed.)
The setting sterling (unmarked but carefully tested). The frame around both sides is washed in 10-12K gold. One side has the most beautiful and colorful abalone shell set in 4 prongs and the other side has a set piece of mother of pearl with a dove that is carved in abalone in laid into the mother of pearl (if you look at all the photos you can see when the locket is opened that the dove is set into the mother of pearl). I can't imagine how difficult this must have been for the maker. There is no catch. It it closes very snug. It is hand pinned on the hinge. This is early Victorian c1850's - 1860s .
I would love to see a bale carefully soldered by jewelry at the top opposite the hinge so this could be worn on either a sterling or gold chain. There is a tiny pin head size hole near the wing of the dove that goes through to the back side. It appears to be worn from tooling. Otherwise this piece is lovely.
I have many more gorgeous pieces of fine and costume estate jewelry from an estate I recently acquired - please check my other shop items. (I will gladly combine shipping for multiple purchases.)
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Item ID: 97
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