Silver jewelry reached its height of popularity during the period following the discovery of the Comstock Lode in Nevada. All of a sudden there was an enormous increase in the worlds' supply of silver. By the 1870s silver jewelry received the seal of approval from the leaders of fashion and early lockets were among the favorite items.
The Japonaiserie craze brought the contemporary folk art to the Western world. The fabulous inlays of silver and copper or gold and copper or silver and gold took jewelry designers by storm. Many of the designs were drawn from ancient legends of Japanese culture. Birds, flowers, plants, a blade of grass or animals were somehow symbols of nature.
Both English and American designers fell in love with the mixed metal work as seen on this striking locket. These designs were so popular that English silver manufacture reached its zenith during the 1870s and 80s. As seen in the hallmark this wonderful rendition was created in Birmingham, England. This type of work exhibits the use of gold decoration on silver.
The locket is a delightful addition to those of us taken with the resurgence of silver jewelry. The locket measures about 2 inches in length and is 1 1/4 inch at its widest. it weighs 7.3 grams. The hinge and closure are in excellent working order. The inserts are included as well. A clear image of the hallmark appears on the backside of the locket. It would be stunning worn on a black cord or simple silver chain. The monkey and frog are excellent substitute pets!
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