Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Garnet Fishing Locket, Eighteenth Century

Memorial Locket
Eighteenth Century
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Human hair had long been employed in the making of sentimental jewelry, usually for memorial purposes, but sometimes to mark a deep love for someone still living.  By the Eighteenth Century, jewelers, and even amateurs, had mastered the art of using hair in jewelry and the medium took on a new prominence—forming the centerpiece of a jewel.  

This drop-shaped gold frame features an openwork bow which has been set with garnets.
  The frame encloses a painting on ivory which is adorned with pieces of hair to create the pattern of a man fishing.  The reverse of the piece is set with agate

This piece was probably made as a memorial.
  It comes from England and is rather difficult to date.  Most likely, it was created in the Eighteenth Century given the skill with which the hair was incorporated into the painting.

No comments: