French paste is a Vintage jewelry term used to describe the practice of using faceted cut glass, cut in the shape of a real gemstone, instead of using real gems. This process, which was developed in the 1700's, created the look of a sparkling gemstone or diamond but cost much less than real stones.
A wonderful painted locket pendant from the Victorian (ca1880) era! This double-sided piece is crafted in sterling silver, and forms a bezel frame that holds a glass-covered portrait on either side. On the front, a sparkling French paste border surrounds a hand-painted image of an older woman wearing lovely Victorian era attire. On the reverse side, is the portrait of a man dressed in formal attire with a classic bouffant hairstyle. The hand-painted images can be access by a hinged, covered locket space on the back, easily allowing you to replace with your own treasured keepsake or photograph, if desired. Additional shimmering stones decorate a feminine bow surmount which has delicate cut-out details and rests at the top. The locket pendant hangs from a simple bail which is stamped "925" alongside a maker's mark. This versatile pendant is an impressive and artistic Victorian piece and would make a unique addition to any collection!
Measurements: The pendant locket hangs approximately 1 5/8" long (including the bail at the top), and measures about 1" wide and 1/4" thick. The glass covered space on the back measures approximately 3/4" in diameter.
Condition: The overall condition of the locket pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the sterling silver setting. All of the French paste stones are intact and securely set. The hinged locket feature and the bail are secure and in good working order. There is a natural darkened patina on the surface of the silver, which is common given the age of the piece and adds to its beauty and character.