This is the second of two fabulous Swami Silver locket pendants that I am listing today. It is decorated on the front with an intricate, deeply embossed and carved Indian goddess (Sarasvati, I think) riding on a peacock. The detailing is superb. Inside is a compartment containing a photo; the retaining ring and cover are still present. The back has a polished smooth finish. It measures 1 ¾ inches long, including the bale and is just over 1 inch wide. This locket is not marked (as was common with silver work of this type), but tests as .925 Sterling silver, using a Troy Test kit.
This locket is in excellent vintage condition with a few very minor dents to the reverse side. The catch snaps shut firmly.
This fascinating style of silver jewellery, known as Swami Silver or sometimes Madras Silver, became popular during the Raj from the 1870's onwards, following the visit of the Prince of Wales to India in 1876. Made in Madras and Bangalore, it featured the kind of shapes and objects beloved by the Victorians but decorated in the Indian manner. Calling card cases, spoons and tea services were popular, as well as jewellery. Lockets are the most commonly found items of jewellery in this style – but bracelets, elaborate necklaces and collars, brooches and earrings were also fashionable.
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