Beautiful Victorian Vulcanite Locket with Floral Spray


THE STORY - There were two things that instantly drew my attention to this locket as I passed the cabinet it was sitting in. The first was the pleasing size of the locket measuring approx 2&1/4" (5.5cm) and the second of course was that wonderful floral high relief embellishment on the front. The locket would be late Victorian and is a lovely example of Mourning Jewellery which was made popular in this period by Queen Victoria, after the death of her husband Albert in 1861. The body of the locket is made from Vulcanite an early plastic made by heating Indian Rubber & Sulphur and it has the wonderful colour of Expresso Coffee. The wonderful Relief Disc on the front of the locket I think is Jet, as unlike the body of the locket which is normal with the medium has changed from black to the brown colour just mentioned, and it does look carved rather than moulded, although I have to say I am not 100% certain, it is possible it is Gutta Percha which unlike Vulcanite does hold its original black colour better. The floral wreath is abundant with both flowers and flora and is about 1/2" in height and looks like it is glued on to the body of the locket. The hinge of the locket is still good not chipped, although sadly through time it has lost its internal glazing.

AGE - Circa 1880

CONDITION - The locket is in good condition considering its age. As I have already mentioned sadly the internal glazing has been lost with time. There is a tiny chip on the top of the inside of the locket which can best be seen in the sixth photo and there is a light scratch to the back of the locket as seen in the sixth photo. The hinge of the locket is still good, with no chips and the locket closes well.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Height (including bale) 2&1/2" / 6.6cm, Depth 1" / 2.5cm

Of course I cannot help but wonder whose photograph or locket of hair was contained in this beautiful locket and indeed their relationship to the original owner. There is such a wonderful contrast in the drama of the high relief floral wreath and the gentleness of the flowers and fauna contained within.

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