Victorian Austrian Silver Enameled Pendant with Hidden Compartment
A wonderful and unique enameled pendant from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This Austrian made piece is crafted in .900 silver and portrays the shape of a 3-dimensional balloon. The top, bottom and one whole side of the pendant is beautifully decorated in a rich, royal blue enameled surface and features a gorgeous hand painted pattern of swirled gold lines and dots. The other side displays a balloon shaped outline that holds two beautiful hand-painted images. One detailed image features a man and woman dressed in Victorian attire appearing to have a picnic outside. A second image near the top of the pendant displays another man holding what appears to be an apple in his hand, with a lovely scenic image in the background. Both images exhibit vibrant colors of reds, greens, blues, purples, pinks and rich black. A lovely etched design wraps around the center, where the pendant is hinged on the side and opens to reveal a hidden compartment, perfect for adding a special memento or keepsake item. The entire inside is adorned with lovely light blue enamel and stamped on either edge is an "A" and an "SG" maker's mark indicating that was assayed in Vienna. The Diana head mark appears to be missing, which indicates its silver purity, location, and dates this piece to between 1872-1922, however the maker's mark confirms the time period and location. Finishing the piece is a lovely floral beaded accent motif at the larger end and a simple round bail at the other, perfect for adding to a favorite chain. Similar to how watch faces were set upside down when worn from a watch chain during this time, the painted image appears to face downwards given the location of the bail, however when the piece is flipped upright (like, when opening the compartment), the beautiful image will appear as expected. The pendant has a wonderful 3-dimensional look with realistic detail throughout and is a fabulous and fun piece for any collector!
Measurements: The pendant hangs approximately 1 1/2" long (including the bail at the top) and measures about 5/8" wide and thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the silver setting. The enameled surface is in excellent condition given the age of the piece, however there appears to be a repair done at some point to that face of the woman. Given the size and coloring of the repair, it is not noticeable when worn. The bail and hinged compartment are secure and in good working condition.