Antique French Mourning Locket Gutta Percha


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Item details

Vintage from the 19th century


gutta percha

Antique French Gutta Percha mourning locket. Hand carved raised S design on the front. There is a removable gold metal ring in one side. The inside also has an intricately carved design. In good condition.

It measures 1.75" height x 1.25" width x 0.5"depth or 4.5cm x 3cm x12mm
10 gram

Made popular in the Civil War as metals were being used for other purposes, gutta percha is a unique material made from the resin of rubber trees. This gorgeous locket is created from that material and features a tremendous three dimensional S monogram on the outside with detailed engraving on both sides of the locket inside.

The popularity of mourning jewelry reached its peak during the Victorian era (1837-1901). Queen Victoria was deeply in love with her husband, Prince Albert, and when he died in 1861, she fell into a long depression. Queen Victoria spent much of the next four decades wearing black crepe dresses and mourning jewelry. She commissioned portraits, memorials, and busts of Prince Albert and other mementos that were reminders of her deceased spouse.

As Queen Victoria set the example for her court and was an admired public figure, wearing mourning jewelry became fashionable. Aristocrats and the wealthy commissioned lockets, bracelets, necklaces, and rings to memorialize their loved ones. Common materials included jet, onyx, pearls, dark tortoise shell, black enamel, bog oak, vulcanite, and gutta percha (natural rubber made from the Southeast Asian tree). White enamel was used in jewelry to memorialize unmarried women and children.

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