A very fine and large 18k yellow gold locket with a naturalist motif surmount. Two leaves are pavé set with 49 rose cut diamonds set in silver and two drop pearl “berries”, one white, one mauve. The two stems are tied together with a pavé diamond ribbon set with 14 rose cut stones. The interior opens to reveal a glass covered compartment for a photograph or memento. The body of the locket has a very fine patina, and was created with an invisible hinge and opening, keeping the central motif as a focal point.
Naturalism had a great resurgence during the Victorian period. Jewelry was created both from natural treasures, including birds heads, Brazilian scarab beetles and Indian tigers’ claws, as well as created beautifully from gemstones and pearls. Cascading diamond “en tremblant” brooches and garnet carbuncles resembling berries, pavé pearl and diamond dogs’ heads and Essex crystal bees were all extremely popular.
Lockets such as these are increasingly rare.
Condition: Very good. The pearls have not been tested, and are assumed to be cultured. The white pearl may be a replacement. The locket opens on the side via a tiny hole into which a pin is inserted to pry the two sections open. The interior is lightly scratched at the points where the pin makes contact.
Dimensions: 2 5/16” x 1 ¼” (90mm x 32mm)
Hallmark of Pierre Moureaux, Paris, practiced in the Rue d’Argout, not far from the Palais Royal, from 1869 to 1878. French eagle’s head mark for 18k gold on the bale and body interior.
Gross weight: 30.8 grams