This fabulous Black Onyx locket with Seed Pearls set into a 9ct Gold wreath on the front, dates from the Victorian period c1860-1880. It hangs from a large gold bale on a string of Whitby Jet beads that are slightly irregular in shape and fastens with a 9ct gold bolt ring. Woven human hair, set with the tiniest seed pearls and very finely twisted gold wire, is set into the reverse of the locket. The glass cover is secured by a gold bezel.
These mourning pieces were made to include a lock of the departed person’s hair that was woven into different designs. They were sometimes embellished with other materials which in this case, were tiny seed pearls and gold wire. It is truly a work of art.
The length of the beads measures 45.5cm (just over 18 1/4”) and the clasp has a 9ct stamp to it.
Mourning jewellery has always been very collectable and this is an especially good example of a quality piece made over 140 years ago. It is one of a kind and in very good condition for its age.