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When it comes to romantic and meaningful jewellery, you simply cannot beat a locket. It’s one of the few pieces of jewellery which can be truly personalized and it has a fascinating history. While lockets date back to the 16th century, they reached their peak of popularity in the Victorian era.
Queen Victoria was the Meghan Markle of her day – a trend setter whose patronage of a particular item of clothing or jewellery would send it into the stratosphere. She was also a great romantic. Madly in love with her Prince Albert, the pair would go to great lengths to exchange personalized love tokens.
When Albert gave Victoria a bracelet with eight lockets attached – each containing a lock of hair from one of their eight children – it caught the popular imagination. The Gold chain bracelet had nine enamelled hearts in diffent colours - turquoise for Prince Albert; pink for Princess Victoria; red for Princess Alice; dark blue for Prince Alfred;trnaslucent white for Princess Helena;dark green for Princess Louise; mid-blue for Prince Arthur; opaque white for Prince Leopold and dark green for Princess Beatrice. Each heart had the name of the child and date of birth engraved inside.
The bracelet was given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert on November 24 1840 three days after the birth of their first child Princess Victoria. There is an inscription to this effect on the clasp. You can see the bracelet in Kensington Palace where Lily Blanche jewellery is also sold.
Queen Victoria was a great fan of charm bracelets and lockets and this bracelet combines both. She loved sentimental and meaningful jewellery and popularised the trend for lockets.
Lockets allowed the wearer to keep loved ones close at a time when people often endured enforced separation for work reasons and travel was a time consuming business. It was also a way to incorporate in jewellery the new fashion for photography.
At Lily Blanche we wanted to create a truly romantic locket – one which drew on the the history of this wonderful piece. We found inspiration in a number of vintage pieces. We incorporated marcasite and filigree work and decided to shape it as a heart and so the Lily Blanche Vintage Heart Locket came into being.
This is our most romantic locket. We originally made it with a garnet stone but have recently introduced it in blue topaz. We have also made it with citrine and emerald for special commissions for Lily Blanche customers. The different stones give it an entirely different feel.
The locket has a deep cavity and we can fill it with two photographs, or you can add a tiny keepsake or message. The locket comes with a Robert Burns quote from the poem Ae Fond Kiss – “To see her was to love her, love but her and love forever”.
There is no nicer way to say I love you than with the Vintage Heart Locket filled with photographs. It’s the perfect anniversary or birthday gift.
Available at www.lilyblanche.com