This heart locket says "Souvenir de Louis 14" - that's the famous Sun King who built Versailles. At first glance, I imagined it was owned by a French person loyal to the monarchy. But inside, the dedication is for 1793. That year was NOT a good one for Louis 14th's grandson - he was executed for treason, and his wife Marie Antoinette lost her head soon after. So my theory that this was a political jewel was strengthened - I imagine that during the French Revolution, French people took sides of either the rebels or the fallen monarchy, and the owner of this jewel supported the crown (perhaps quietly.) But the mysteries continue. Inside, an engraving says "Coeur de Louis 14 Pris au Val de Grace an 1793". I think this translates to "Heart of Louis 14 taken at Val de Grace in 1793". Val de Grace was a Roman Catholic church in Paris founded by Louis 14's mother to celebrate her son's birth. But in our fateful year, 1793, the Benedictines were forced out of the church and it was turned into a military hospital.
So what was being commemorated with this locket? What do you think? Did it belong to one of the fleeing monks? A military family? A rebel fighter? WHAT?????
Here's another twist: a very old faded piece of paper was cut to fit inside. In ink, we can read "This relic was eaten by J? Backland when shown it at church" (or it could say "lunch", we can't make it out.) Was there a relic inside the locket? Hair? Bone? WHAT DID J BACKLAND EAT?
1714 — 1837
please note:Terms of Sale
Antiques can be returned unworn and in original condition within 10 days of delivery for an exchange or refund minus the cost of shipping. Once a piece has been altered, including ring re-sizing, it is FINAL SALE.
It’s hard to pinpoint when modern-day lockets were invented, but it’s believed that they evolved from ancient amulets.
The double-clefted heart icon was born in the Middle Ages.