This is an outstanding antique Victorian period pendant brooch with locket back, depicting the Lion of St. Mark. The Lion of Saint Mark, representing the evangelist St Mark, is pictured in the form of a winged lion holding a Bible. This lion is the symbol of the city of Venice as well as of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria. The tale is that when St. Mark was traveling through Europe and arrived at a lagoon in Venice There an angel appeared to him and said "Pax tibi Marce, evangelista meus. Hic requiescet corpus tuum." (May Peace be with you, Mark, my evangelist. Here your body will rest.) This quote was used as justification in 828 for stealing the remains of St. Mark from his grave in Alexandria and moving them to Venice, where they were eventually interred in the Basilica of St. Mark.
So here you have the winged Lion of St. Mark depicted in traditional pose with paw on open bible and tail raised. There are no markings but the metal tests positive for sterling grade silver. There is a gold wash over the lion and the border around him. This piece has an integral bail in the decorative scrollwork above. The back side hosts a glass covered locket, now empty except for a bit of woven cloth backing. The brooch back has a very wide T hinged pin stem and simple C clasp.
This piece weighs 14.9 gr. It measures 1.25" x 2" x .2".
Condition is good.
Wear a jewel with deeper meaning with this fine piece.