Lockets are a very personal and romantic piece of jewellery often used to hold keepsakes and mementos. They are usually bought either as a gift by a loved one or as somewhere to keep a reminder of a loved one close. What I have noticed is that people prefer to buy an antique or vintage locket as they are better quality than new ones available today and also bring with them more sentiment and romance from the past. The metal is thicker and the design hand engraved rather than mass produced. Victorian Silver Lockets are particularly popular.
More of this special type of jewellery are added to antiquesavenue.co.uk every week.
1. Photographs. The original lockets would hold a small hand painted portrait miniature inside a picture of a persons beloved. As photography developed then the expensive portraits popularity gave way to the photograph . Even with the popularity of mobile phones where we can carry a whole library of pictures around it is still popular to keep pictures in lockets. Maybe its because they are wrapped in precious metal and kept safe inside and when hanging on a chain they are close to the heart.
It was very popular in Georgian and Victorian times to hold a plait of hair inside a locket. There were expert weavers to create intricate patterns of the hair and they were often overlaid with tiny seed pearls to represent tears. Nowadays people tens to form a simple plait or curl from the hair perhaps tie with a little ribbon. The hair curl can be glued inside the locket or held in a tiny wrap of foil or cling film. If you have a good jeweller they may be able to place the locket under glass inside a locket but that is an art which has just about died out these days.
3. Pressed flower or leaf.
A small flower, a few rose petals or a leaf can be pressed and held inside your locket. Perhaps a memento form a special bouquet you were given or the first daisy picked by your child. The flower will need to be pressed before placing it in the locket. Flowers are particularly popular in picture lockets where the contents behind glass can be seen while they round your neck.
A snip of fabric from great Grannys best dress maybe. The Georgians likes to keep a snip of fabric in their lockets, the fabrics in those days were thin cotton and decorated with tiny flowers which suited placement in a locket. Ive yet to see Victorian fabric in a locket, probably because it was so heavy.
5. Poem or love note .
In Victorian times a locket often held a keepsake of a secret love. Kept away from the prying eyes or a parent or a servants mistress. A tiny poem or love note in miniature writing was a reminder of the loved one.
Lockets come in several different depths. Shallow ones are wonderful for a photograph but in a deeper one you can keep a charm, ring, chain or other small piece of jewellery. Most popular of all of these is keeping a silver charm inside with the charm being in the shape of something personal just like keeping a single harm on a charm bracelet but closer to the heart.
7. Baby tooth
Yes a lady did phone me up a year ago and ask for a locket to keep a baby tooth in. I wold suggest wrapping it in a bit of cotton wool so that it doesn’t rattle about in the locket and get damaged. Teeth are popular keepsakes and mementos.
A memory from a first date, an entry ticket to the cinema or theatre .Even a bus or tram ticket for a first ride together. Just don’t get the locket wet or the paper may deteriorate.
10. Phone number or address
I guess this is not so popular now it is easy to carry this sort of information with us. In the past the locket was a great way to keep something like a phone number to ensure you didn’t loose it.
11. Dolls house miniature
Tiny miniature people from a dolls house especially babies are great inside lockets. Its normally the babies I see but there is no reason why you could not keep any dolls house miniature inside if you wish. Just make sure it doesn’t rattle about or fallout.
13. Pebble or object trouve
A tiny sea washed pebble from a beach or other little Object trouve you find walking along the seashore or in the countryside. A great way to remember a special holiday or day out.
Coins were used as love tokens in the Victorian era and remember “half a sixpence”? Victorian coins were often polished smooth and then have names or initials engraved onto them before being given to a sweetheart. These keepsakes and mementos can be worn on a bracelet, necklace or placed inside a locket to keep them and the thoughts of a lover close.
15. Christening ribbon
Not just christening ribbons , a bonnet ribbon in times gone by. Anything which has cherished memories for you.
Keeping things in lockets has become high fashion again especially if they have a glass front so you can see the contents. These are known as Memory Lockets. I am sure there are many more miniature keepsakes and mementos which could be held in a locket. Anything small, personal and precious can be kept close in this way. It is not what you place inside a locket it is the memories, dreams and sentiment attached to them which are important. Few objects inside locket have any monetary value but they are beyond value to the wearer. I now have lots of special choice listings for lockets where you can see all of one type together :
Have you any ideas for more things to keep as tiny keepsakes and mementos then Please do let me know
Anne 🙂 x