One of the finest pieces of jewellery we have had the pleasure of selling. This exquisite initial locket is the epitome of Victorian mourning jewellery. The front of the locket is set with a large cabochon of banded agate, the natural colour pattern of the gemstone providing a light grey boarder that surrounds the otherwise black stone. To the centre the agate has been carefully drilled and applied with a silver initial ‘H’, studded with diamonds it sits proud of the agate and provides a simple, yet beautiful, piece of personalisation.
To the reverse of the locket you find a smooth 18ct gold back, richly patinaed with age the buttery gold sits smooth on your skin and feels tactile to hold with its impressive 22.5g weight. The locket is finished with an elegant gold bale, layered with black enamel that remains in beautiful condition with only a few small areas of wear, impressive for the 167 years it has been cherished.
The inside of the locket gives us some clues as to the previous owner. To one side we find careful hand engraving etched into the antique gold. The engraving reads ‘Excelsior, October 13th, 1866’; which was the date of the gentleman pictured, Henry Arkwright’s, death.
Henry came from an important English family, the Arkwrights, and was sadly killed by an avalanche on Mount Blanc, where his body would remain undiscovered for 31 years. His death made national news and the family has had a number of books written on them.
Overall, the locket is in excellent condition, wear to note being a very very small nick to the top of the agate stone, some similarly small areas of wear to the enamel bale and superficial tarnishing and surface wear to the metal.
A true collectors piece.
Exquisite Initial H Banded Agate Locket – 22.5g
Stones: Diamond and agate
Diamond Measurements: 1.2mm approx.
Agate Measurements: 46mm x 28mm
Metal: 18ct gold, tested (initial topped in silver)
Dimensions: 46mm x 28mm