Victorian Ivy Locket & Collar
The ivy that clings to the wall,
Symbols my heart's love for thee;
The ivy clings closely, so does my heart,
To the one adored by me.
Gorgeous silver locket and book-chain collar dating from the latter half of the 19th century. The locket features intricate engraved ivy leaves over the whole front half, while the chain features pansies on every other link. Built in sterling silver throughout, with English hallmarks from the year 1880.
The Language of Flowers was one of the many secret codes employed by genteel European lovers during the 18th and 19th centuries. Different flowers or plants represented the myriad feelings or emotions to be conveyed between acquaintances (romantic or otherwise), and the exchange of these - either the flowers themselves, or as motifs in jewellery, clothing, illustrations, etc. - was an exciting and somewhat mysterious form of covert communication. Taking the two examples present here: ivy symbolises 'fidelity' and the pansy for 'think of me' (as in the French pensée, literally 'a thought').
My Language of Flowers codex is Mandy Kirkby's 'The Language Of Flowers; A Miscellany' (2011). Drawing from the Victorian tradition, it features and explores 50 symbolic plants with a distinct, poetic prose. Almost every civilisation as far back as we know has had their own flower language, the Victorian version directly inspired by the 1819 book 'Le Langage des Fleurs' by Charlotte de Latour which became so popular that it inspired a minor industry in Europe and latterly North America with countless flower dictionaries produced and targeted at young aristocrats who, naturally, lapped it all up.
Era: Victorian, 1880
Locket: 6.0cm by 3.7cm
Chain: 16.5 inches
Links: 12.3mm by 8.6mm
Hallmarks: English, Birmingham, Sterling Silver, 1880
Condition: Good antique condition. Light wear/patina consistent with age including some dings to the back of the locket. The original glass is not present, it could be easily replaced by a good jeweller.
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Gemstones are tested by an accredited gemmologist (Cert GA, Gemmological Association of Great Britain)
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We offer detailed and accurate condition reports on each listing. These pieces are antique, vintage, or pre-loved, often over 100 years old so they're going to have lived a life. A healthy patina and the odd scuff/scrape are quite normal... it's part of their charm! Everything we present has been checked over by our jeweller and should be good for wear for many years to come (unless otherwise stated) but please remember to treat them with appropriate care and consideration for their age.
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