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from the archive
Victorian Niello Silver Photo Locket

This graphic locket dates to the late 1800s. The locket features crisp, narrow stripes rendered in niello - a black metallic alloy used to fill in designs cut from metal. The face of the locket is embellished with decorative stripes of rose gold. Niello originated in Ancient Egypt and the technique spread to Europe as early as the Iron Age. Niello jewelry reached the height of its popularity during the Renaissance and then experienced a brief return to favor at the end of the 19th century, when this piece was made. Hangs from a new 18" 14k gold chain.


  • Materials

    800 silver (marked), 9k rose gold, glass, new 14k gold chain

  • Age

    c. 1880

  • Condition

    Very good - surface wear commensurate with age and use; some minor scruffs and abrasions to the glass lenses

  • Size

    1 1/2" length including the bale, 1 1/4" diameter, 18" chain

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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.

RelatedHistory Lesson

Lockets:Magical, Medicinal, Memorial.

It’s hard to pinpoint when modern-day lockets were invented, but it’s believed that they evolved from ancient amulets.