Victorian Cluster of Grapes and Swallow Locket Necklace.
This 1880's era locket features a wonderful and rare motif: a grape vine which curls around the locket and proffers a generous cluster of grapes whose leaves are delicately and beautifully hand engraved into the surface of the metal. The grapes themselves are set with sparkling paste crystal stones, and are being eyed by a small swallow whose eye is set with a ruby.
Wild grapes, according to a small volume written and published in 1913 called 'The Language of Flowers', symbolize 'Charity', a favorite Victorian theme and one which is also represented by hearts.
It is our opinion that some of the most special of lockets are those engraved or set with stones in abstract or iconographic patterns popular in the 19th and early 20th century, among them images of love, luck and sentimentality. While the language of Victorian symbols and flowers has changed, the jewelry which features them is ever lovely, ever captivating and ever collected in the here and now.
MATERIALS: Gold-fill 10k, paste crystal, ruby.
HALLMARKS: C Co.
CHAIN DETAILS: This locket pendant ships on an 18" long necklace made from new 14k gold-filled 1mm cable chain.
CHARM DIMENSIONS: 1 3/16" Diameter (30mm) x 1/4" Depth (6mm). The loop and bail add another 1/4" (6mm) to the height of the locket.
CONDITION: The front has one scratch in the top border and the back has 3 dimples of varying depths. The clasp shuts well. The gold surface is in overall good condition with some faint wear particularly to the back in a faint, dust-like pattern. The pastes of the grapes are all intact with some being brighter while others have clouded with age. Both of the two photo frames are present as are the original celluloid photo protectors, however they have warped and yellowed some with time. The oval wire bail is original to the locket.