A very rare British Royal Flying Corps antique sweetheart locket dating to the onset of World War One.
The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) is the predecessor to the Royal Airforce (RAF) and it only existed between the years of 1912 and 1918 so jewellery that bears the RFC insignia is virtually non-existent and when it can be found, it is confined to sweetheart brooches. We have never seen a locket or other item of jewellery!
This striking locket is very large in constructed two tone yellow gold and silver. The front has a high carat gold plated RFC badge complete with the laurel wreath and crown insignia and the back houses the locket compartment.
The back cover is hinged and opens to access the photo station which has a photo of a young gent inside along with a picture frame and glass. There is a removeable cover behind the badge and the top of the locket has a large heavy gauge jump ring bail so you can attach it to a wide variety of neck chains or even a watch chain.
The locket is stamped 'Gaunt London' on the back of the badge. JR Gaunt of London were prolific makers of medals, badges and other regalia in the 19th and early 20th century and we did wonder if this locket was a specially commissioned piece because they did not normally manufacture jewellery.
This locket is very good quality and it is in quite remarkable condition given age. The high carat gold plating on the front is still a very bright yellow. The inside and back of the locket shows a little more signs of age with minor surface wear and light tarnish and the photo is a tad faded. The back cover is a very good fit and nice and tight so it stays securely closed.
Fabulous piece and rare to boot, a unique addition any antique jewellery collection, museum worthy!
MATERIALS: the locket body is gilt (gold plated sterling silver) and we think the badge on the front could be plated bronze or brass rather than silver
MEASUREMENTS: 2-1/8" (5.5cm) tall with the bail and 1-5/8" (4cm) wide. The ring bail is 7.5mm diameter
WEIGHT: 25 grams
At Mercy Madge we offer distinctive and unique antique and vintage jewellery. Each piece is carefully hand selected by us, with you in mind. We rarely come across two identical old treasures, once they are gone, they are truly gone!
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Materials: Sterling Silver, Bronze, Gold.