18K French Georgian Marriage Token Gentleman Portrait Miniature Locket with Hairwork & Heart Padlock
An outstanding and rare French Georgian c.1803-1819 gentleman portrait miniature locket, with a heart padlock suspended, crafted in 18k gold and hallmarked.
The piece features a fine portrait miniature of a gentleman, with a gentle expression and blushed cheeks. The reverse houses braided hairwork, most likely of the gentleman in the portrait himself. A heart padlock dangles beneath the locket, which can be latched opened and closed without needing a key.
The heart padlock can be detached and used on its own as a charm pendant as well, making it a very versatile piece!
Such pieces were often given by grooms to their betrothed during engagement as a marriage token in France, the heart padlock signifying, "You have my heart". It would be a sentimental and not a mourning piece, as such an affectionate piece would be an extremely special token before the widespread use of cameras and photographs. The piece would certainly be specially commissioned for this very purpose.
It is hallmarked with the French rooster head, which was used in France exclusively between c.1803-1819, and it is hallmarked on the top left of the frame.
The piece is in stunning and excellent collectible condition, with no nicks or chips to the glass on either sides, which is remarkable for its age. The portrait and braided hairwork is also in marvelous condition. All parts are original to the piece with no modifications made.
It is a large jumbo size and measures 50mm x 62mm height including the frame, and the heart 8mm x 14mm height, and weighs 31.98 grams.
Era - Georgian c.1803-1819
Materials - 18k gold / Hairwork
Measurements - Locket Including Frame: 50mm x 62mm height / Heart: 8mm x 14mm height
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