You never see these incredible mourning pieces anymore! Usually these daguerreotype lockets are seen on woven hair bracelets, but this one is set into a 14 kt(tested) yellow gold bracelet. The couple are the "Trowbridges". (see closeup photo of the back for engraved name)
Everything is right about this...no apologies for anything. The clasp works snugly and the locket opens and closes without effort (and stays closed!). Kindly notice that the tiny piece of glass protecting the image is beveled...nicely setting off the portrait in this gem of a bracelet.
Imagine delicate and beautiful "Scarlet O'Hara" descending the steps at Tara...wearing such a beautiful bracelet...keeping a picture of her loved one(s) close to her so that in private moments she could peek and remember! With loved ones off to war, everyone wanted a keepsake close at hand. The locket came to be considered an important part of the total fashion picture.
In the 1840s, everybody who was anybody had a photographic sitting. The subject(s) had to sit in the sun for up to 30 minutes in order to get the proper exposure. Louis J.M. Daguerre perfected this process. The daguerreotype is identified by the mirror-like reflection of its background. Since the pictures were under glass, a proper container was an important consideration. Lockets turned out to be the best choices! Many were molded paper, composition and gutta-percha. This one happens to be 14 kt gold!
The only word we can think of to sum up this lovely item is RARE...but that is hardly sufficient and understates the difficulty one would have in trying to acquire such a piece. .......IMPOSSIBLY RARE comes closer.
.45 oz gold (7.7 dwt)
Bracelet is 7.5" 19 cm) long Daguerreotype is 12mm x 16mm oval Locket is 3/4" x 7/8" (2 x 2.3cm)
We estimate this bracelet to be circa 1860
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