Acid tested at high 14k gold, likely 15k for the age of it, this larger locket pendant is made in pocket watch size and form, large bale up top and might well have been a gentleman's item, worn on a watch fob chain & tucked in his vest, brought out and cherished along with the memories of the loved one whose hair is so beautifully arranged within. The custom of saving locks of hair of someone you'd loved goes back a very long time, but was elevated in the Georgian to Victorian era to a high fine art of jewelry making, and we find many exquisite examples of goods that still house the decorative hair ornament within. Remember, there were no photos, painted miniatures or large portraits were very expensive and reserved only for the very wealthy, the few. This large locket has 2 sides, and the old early original arrangements of hair from 2 people or perhaps 3 are still almost perfectly arranged within, protected by their undamaged cover glass. The hair within each is arranged in 3 feather-like curls. One can speculate that perhaps they represent 3 children lost to childhood disease, or perhaps a wife and 2 children - death was often early, undaunted by youth or beauty, or wealth. Yes, this one would have been commissioned by someone wealthy. The solid gold, the precious arrangement of the locks, with gold wire trim - it's a superb piece. You'll display it when you're not wearing it on a long gold chain, or a black ribbon of silk or silk velvet, which was often how they were originally worn.
Very good to excellent condition, not a bit of damage to either of those 2 cover glass compartments, though the gold wires used have floated as you can see, and are no longer in place where they were originally arranged. We find this is often the case. The outer shell of the locket would appear to be a fine gold dress watch, it's large in size. And it is stunningly beautiful. No dents, no damage. This one has been tucked away for many many generations or truly cherished, one. Survives in fine form. The bale tests at 10k gold, by the way, which gave it more strength. I don't think it represents a later addition. The body tests 14k, on the high end, so is perhaps 15k, and the gold is yellow. 23.3 grams in weight, it is 1.5" in diameter. A real beauty!
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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