Antique ca. 1880s Victorian enamel hairwork locket with garter motif

A Late Victorian mourning locket done in gold shell and navy enamel. The locket is beautifully, densely engraved on both faces, with a glass compartment insert on the verso. The face centers a garter or buckle motif, which was a symbol of  loyalty, unity and friendship to Victorians. The original glass pane insert is intact, well-fitted and protects a bit of plaited hairwork. While it is possible that this was a mourning piece, it may also have been a sentimental piece worn for a beloved living friend or relative. 

Buckle motif jewelry became popular during the Victorian Era, when Queen Victoria chose to wear her Order of the Garter garter (belt) around her arm where it could be seen instead around her leg, where it was traditionally worn by men. Seeing the queen wear buckle armlets and rings started a trend in garter or buckle jewelry.

Measurements: 14mm x 18mm oval, 5.5mm thick
Era: 1830s-1860s
Markings: N/A

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