The frame is, we're relatively sure, made in italy. It has all the style and quality of those old ones we have which had housed covers of pietra dura and micromosaics from Italy. Yet this one has been an early export, mounted with a large cabochon of banded agate and stamped to be marketed through Howell, James & Co., a luxury retailer whose Regent Street, London address is also noted. Regent Street is, even today, a very luxury-minded shopping area in London, though Howell, James & Co. closed their doors in 1911. The firm of jewelers and silversmiths, began selling at that address in 1819, so a long history. The engraved date on the frame, itself, tells us that this one was sold in 1872. From its lovely style and with the locket cover holding a 2nd open aperture, I imagine it might have been a Christening frame with a baby's photo and a lock of his or her baby hair in the smaller aperture. Isn't it fabulous!
Very good to excellent condition throughout. The frame is hinged well, opens smoothly and hasn't any chip or crack to the large banded agate which is mounted upon it. It has a an engraved dedication with a date in 1872, as well as the company's impressed name, Regent Street address. The frame is also engraved as you can see, to enhance the form. A fabulous old one.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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