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Turquoise, Diamond and Enamel Serpent and Heart Locket Necklace

$49,500

Created in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century, this turquoise, diamond and 15K gold locket necklace is likely English in origin. The highly flexible abstract-form serpent chain is articulated into bombé segments and bezel-set throughout with cabochon turquoise, highlighted by old mine-cut diamond terminals and joining a large gold ring with a naturalistic old mine-cut diamond leaf motif suspending a turquoise enamel heart surmounted by a diamond star flower centering an old mine-cut diamond, weighing approximately 0.40 carat, and edged with rose-cut diamond trefoils, the reverse opening to reveal a glazed locket compartment, engraved throughout with floral and foliate motifs.  This rare and superb period locket necklace with its sweet sky-blue Iranian turquoise and fiery old diamonds combines eternal symbols of passion and romance. 

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: N-20329
Country: Probably England
Circa: 1880s
Size:  Chain: 16.50” length; Ring and Heart Pendant: 1.875” length
Materials: 45 old mine and rose-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 2.25 carats); 15K gold; Enamel; With later fitted box
Literature: A similar turquoise serpent chain is illustrated in The Necklace From Antiquity to Present, by Daniela Mascetti and Amanda Triossi, London, Thames & Hudson, 1997

This glamorous necklace of sparkling diamonds and heavenly blue enamel and turquoise unites a variety of classic symbols of love and romance. Serpent jewelry has enjoyed a strong association with love since ancient times. Surviving frescoes from matriarchal Minoan society illustrate women wearing double headed serpent earrings. In later Greek culture, devotional statuary of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, depict her wearing a serpent bangle on her left arm, folded across her heart. The heart shape itself, in the form we know it, grew in popularity with the idealization of courtly love in the late Middles Ages and Renaissance. In this masterful necklace, the stylized double headed serpent serves as a powerful symbol of love and eternity, joined by a grape leaf representing prosperity and wisdom, and heart symbolizing passion - compelling high Victorian design and beautiful materials seamlessly blended with timeless romantic tradition.
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