I saw some truly spectacular pieces of jewelry at the Original Miami Antique Show. I’m still deep into editing the many, many photos I took….and I look forward to sharing those treasures with you soon.
One of those pieces was a locket – a locket so fantastic and utterly, utterly, odd – that I just couldn’t wait any longer to show it to you.
My favorite part of this locket is the mystery that it represents. This portrait is so very strange that nobody – not the jewelry store who owns it, not me, not any of the other collectors who have looked at it – can figure out what the heck it means. This kind of design from this era was certainly intended to reference or represent something specific, but it remains a enigma for now.
Unless, of course, you can help me solve the mystery?
Here’s what we know: this 18 karat yellow gold antique locket dates to the late the Victorian era and features a stylized enamel portrait of a woman surrounded by a frame of rose cut diamonds. It’s currently for sale by Craig Evan Small.
Have you ever seen anything like her?! So wonderfully bizarre.
Her dress seems to be at least partly architectural; Craig Evan Small’s description says the skirt looks like a column, and I agree. And her feet seem to be some kind of…building element, perhaps, or tool?
The vaguely architectural theme continues with the item in the locket lady’s hand. I thought it might be some kind of surveyor’s tool, but my research didn’t turn up anything that looks like it at all.
I did find this, a Lady’s Archery Score Kit, but apparently this would have been fairly small and designed to hang from the belt like a chatelaine, while our locket lady’s mystery item appears to be much larger. And then there’s her hat…which I have no insight into whatsoever.
There are two pictures inside of the locket, but they don’t offer any additional clues. They’re pretty cute, though.
Can any of you solve this locket’s mystery? Who is this vaguely architectural lady, and what is she trying to tell us?
Top photo is my own, all other photos are c/o Craig Evan Small.