Utterly charming Niello locket dating to the late Victorian to very early Edwardian era circa 1900.
Crafted from 800 silver and *Niello with rose gold accents in the form of stylised flowers and etched banners to the front, and to the rear of the locket one tiny and delightful ‘star’.
Opening to reveal two compartments to hold a photo each side, with what may be original blue fabric. There is no glass or plastic coverings for the frames.. we do not believe there was originally as there simply isn’t enough room for a photo and glass or another clear covering.
The top attached bale is also finished in Niello and through this bale is a sterling silver bolt ring which may or may not be original, however its is wonderfully strong, a very good size and will clip on to many a chain or even better wear this on your favourite silver OR gold guard chain.
WHAT IS NIELLO?
Niello (from Latin: Nigellus = “blackened”) is a metallic alloy with sulfur which is used as a surface decoration technique which, much like enamel, is fused to a metal base. The luster of niello, however, is metallic instead of vitreous and it is much tougher than enamel. Niello comes in just one colour – black of various tones – which contrasts highly with silver, the most popular base for niello work.
Through the use of engraving, etching, chiseling or embossing techniques, an indentation is made in the work and filled with the black sulfide alloy. The methods used in niello are similar to émail champleve and émail de taille d’epargné, although most other enameling techniques can be used as well. Due to these similarities, niello is sometimes misnamed black enamel.
(Credit - https://www.langantiques.com/university/niello/)
2.1 x 2.1cm
6.53 Grams including bolt ring
Tested as 800 for Locket
Bolt ring 925 grade silver
Very good antique condition. Minor ‘pin point’ dings to rear of locket (see Photo). Opens and closes very securely. Very minor loss to one corner of locket only. Patina to inside of locket here and there. Bolt ring opens and closes smoothly and securely.
Please note boxes and chains are for display only unless otherwise stated.