Kirsten's Corner

Victorian Etruscan Revival Gold Fill Locket


This Victorian-era Etruscan Revival locket, circa 1870’s-1880’s, opens to reveal the daguerreotype of a young man. Across from it is a blank frame where an additional photo can still be added. The daguerreotype is hand-colored—the man has rosy cheeks and there is a slight blue tinge to the background. The front of the locket features ornate twisted-wire motifs and granulation, typical to the Etruscan Revival period, and there are seed pearls on the front emblem. The original bail can clip onto a larger chain, or a smaller chain can be slid through, so the locket can be styled in multiple ways.

Etruscan Revival jewelry has a rich and interesting history. In the early 1800’s there was a large excavation of Etruscan tombs outside of Rome. Within these tombs were pieces of original Etruscan jewelry. The Etruscans were master artisans, they created breathtaking pieces of jewelry through their use of gold wirework and granulation, colored gemstones and glass. The news of the excavation of these tombs, and the treasures contained inside them, spread throughout Europe. Etruscan style jewelry captured the imagination of the public and soon jewelers were intrigued by the designs. Etruscan revival jewelry rose to popularity with the people of the Victorian era. Inspired by the Etruscans, jewelers implemented the use of wirework, beading, filigree and granulation.

The locket weighs 19 grams. It is 2 1/4” high, including the bail, and 1 1/8” inches wide. The locket is pictured here on a book chain that is also available on Kirsten’s Corner.

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