Victorian Silver Niello Watch Chain & Mirror Locket
Niello is the art of ornamenting metal surfaces that is thought to have originated with the Egyptians and spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. It is enamel-like substance made alloys of sulfur, copper, silver and lead and used as an inlay on engraved metal.
This fabulous Victorian (ca1880) necklace is a wonderful example of the Niello art form! The piece is comprised of a locket and chain set, both of which are made of silver and display a fantastic Niello pattern on the surface. The locket is oval-shaped and particularly large in size, and slides open to reveal a mirror on one side and a place for your favorite photograph on the other. The locket hangs from an attractive watch chain comprised of long Niello checkerboard-patterned links, which alternate with sections of silver double jump rings. The chain comes together at the bottom, where it fastens together at a Niello swivel watch clasp. The clasp is stamped with two small maker's marks at either side of the hinge and the top of the locket is stamped "808.". A fantastic and unusual piece, it looks fabulous when worn and would be perfect for any Niello collector!
Measurements: The locket hangs 2 5/8" long, is 1 1/2" wide, and 3/8" thick. The chain measures 17 3/4" long from end to end.
Condition: The overall condition of the locket and chain is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no serious damage to the silver or Niello pattern. The locket slides open and closed easily and the mirror inside is intact. The clasp on the chain is intact and fastens securely.