1900s Art Nouveau Gold Locket with Goddesses

A celebratory and uplifting c. 1900s American Art Nouveau locket, of solid 14k rose gold, the front repoussé-worked and chased with an image of two goddesses amongst clouds, their radiating hair spread like the Byzantine halos. The smooth reverse is engraved with stylized interlinked initials reading “AEW”. Per common period practice, the locket front has been acid-treated for a bloomed surface, giving the locket a matte high-carat appearance. Two tiny 1.25 old mine cut diamonds are set within the goddesses’ hair. The interior contains matched portraits of a young couple, dating to around the locket’s creation, c. 1900s.
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Description


Date: c. 1900s, Art Nouveau

Materials: natural earth-mined diamonds, solid 14k rose gold (unmarked; locket interiors previously scored with tiny grooves to reveal solid gold core, as gold fill or plate are usually no more than 2.5 microns thick; tested in two locations with electronic gold tester & nitric-muriatic acid)

Weight: 10 grams

Workmanship origin: American

Diameter of locket: 31.3 mm (not including bail)

Depth of locket: 5.7 mm

Diameter of diamonds: 1.25 mm (approx. 0.02 ctw)

Condition: overall in great antique condition. Main issue to note is that the locket shuts tight and flush, meaning it requires patience to open. The tiny recessed closure area at the side contains a century’s worth of scratches from various attempts to open the locket (these scratches are however contained within that tiny recessed area). The interior gold walls underneath the photographs contain some tiny scored grooves, probably put there by the manufacturer to certify the solid gold material. Upon examination, the material between the photographs and gold frames are some kind of old clear plastic, yellowed from age. There is general age-related surface wear to the locket, which has not been repolished. The front bloomed surface is worn at some high-relief areas.