Circa 1850, a fine Victorian large "Pinchbeck" locket and Belcher chain necklace in a bright buttery yellow gold colour.
This heavy gauge antique locket is beautifully engraved and embossed on the front in a geometric linear and floral patterns with the back left plain. It opens from the side to reveal 2-stations for photos along with the original silver picture frame. The inside of the locket is silvered and the top is decorated in decorated in a slender tear-drop shaped bale. The antique Pinchbeck chain is equally as decorative with sturdy round solid links that are hand faceted which adds a lovely sparkle.
Pinchbeck is a form of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc mixed in proportions so that it closely resembled the high carat gold of the Georgian period. It was invented in the early 18th century by Christopher Pinchbeck, a London clock and jewellery maker who kept his process a closely guarded secret. This luxurious gold coloured metal could be heavily worked and engraved which wasn't possible with plated jewellery and it had the advantage of being tarnish resistant. Pinchbeck fell out of favour after 1854 when a lower carat gold (9ct) was legalised for assay so real gold jewellery became much more affordable to the general population.
A fabulous high quality antique locket and chain in a rare metal, real "Pinchbeck" jewellery from the Georgian and early Victorian era is a rare treat and very collectible!
MATERIALS: Pinchbeck locket & chain
MEASUREMENTS: locket 2-1/2" (6.5cm) tall including bail, 1-1/2" (4cm) wide, 15mm deep. Interior photo size approx. 1-5/8x1-3/8" (4.5x3.5cm). Belcher chain 18-1/2" (48cm), links 3.6mm, bolt ring clasp 9mm
ERA: circa 1850, Victorian
WEIGHT: 35.4 grams total (locket 22 grams/chain 13.4 grams)
CONDITION: this beautiful necklace remains in excellent antique condition with light tarnish and faint surface scratches in keeping with age, the chain has no misshapen or broken links and the locket closes tightly and securely with a solid click.
At Mercy Madge we offer antique and vintage jewellery that is special and each piece is hand selected by us for you. We rarely come across two identical old treasures, once they are gone, they are truly gone! All of our jewellery is sympathetically cleaned and polished and ready for you to wear and enjoy.
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