Dating to c.1780-1790, this adorable and highly-rare Bilston enamel locket is a rare example of enameled Georgian-era jewelry!
Measuring 1 3/8" including the original bail x 3/4" wide, this charming jewel features a hand-painted enamel on copper portrait of a child of the era, likely a little girl, as her hair is cut short in front with longer curls spilling over one shoulder in the children's style of the 1780s-1790s. She is wearing a pink Neoclassical style pink robe, looks over one shoulder, and holds a cluster of violets! SO SWEET!
Bilston (and Battersea) enamel refers to enamel on copper paintings which were originated in Bilston, England, in 1741. Enamel boxes were made to carry snuff, sweets, and beauty patches. Eighteenth century courting couples made them popular as gifts betokening lasting affection, and it is likely that this example was bestowed to a lady by her husband, perhaps upon the birth of their first child.
The reverse of the locket retains it's original hand-ground optical crystal, and opens to hold a lock of hair, or other love token! This navette shape with rounder ends points to a date of the 1780s, and is an English treasure!
What makes this example of Georgian jewelry so incredibly rare is that the Bilston enamel is in 100% intact, all-original condition, Most 18th century Bilston enamel jewelry sustains substantial cracks and losses over the centuries, but not so with this example! Not only is the plaque perfect, but the entire locket is in 100% all-original condition, without damage, losses or repairs! The frame of the locket is constructed from copper gilded with high-karat gold. JUST FABULOUS!
This locket is perfect for holding a lock of hair from a loved one, or from your own child, no matter his or her age! Simply a superb survival in a rare medium, this Georgian locket is the sort of jewel that could tell fascinating stories, and looks wonderful worn on a gold chain. The locket opens and closes with a satisfying "snap" after over 220 years; whomever had custody of it certainly treated it with care!
If you love the rare and unusual in historic jewelry, this 18th-century Bilston beauty belongs around your neck and in your collection@! It would also make a stellar gift for any lady fond of Georgian jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box. Do not miss this charming jewel; I do not expect to find another in this fine a condition, up to 30-day layaway is available, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
I WILL BE OUT OF THE OFFICE From 10/5-10/25. Orders May Be Placed and Paid For, But Will Not Be Shipped Until 10/26. Thanks!