Medallions advanced from historic amulets and have become actually fashionable within the Elizabethan period. Elizabeth I wore a medallion ring that includes her personal portrait and that of her mom, Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth had a behavior of giving jewel-encrusted medallions to the likes of Francis Drake and different of her favourites. Mary Queen of Scots is claimed to have offered her valet along with her medallion on the eve of her execution – it is called the Penicuik Medallion and is now within the Scottish Nationwide Museum. The photographs in vintage medallions had been hand-painted by the main artists of the time and will solely be afforded by the rich.
Whereas we regularly think about the vintage locket as an indication between lovers, the seventeenth century introduced one other dimension. It was common for folks to put on a hidden medallion depicting Charles I, to point opposition to Cromwell. Within the subsequent century, the Jacobite adherents would put on hidden medallions of the younger Pretender.
From the 1760s, mourning medallions grew to become modern. Inside, you’ll usually discover human hair from the deceased, woven into intricate basket patterns and sometimes with gold thread and seed pearls. The heyday of the medallion was the nineteenth century. One in all Prince Albert’s items to Queen Victoria was an enamel bracelet with eight coloured heart-shaped medallions, every with a lock of her kids’s hair. Style rapidly caught on and Victorian girls wore their medallions on velvet ribbons or heavy gold chains. Within the 1870s, giant medallions had been modern, in silver or gold. Some had been the dimensions of matchboxes, whereas the kids carried small heat-molded or spherical matches.
The arrival of pictures led to an awesome change. Because the younger males went off to struggle within the Boer Struggle, they offered their family members with medallions containing an image of themselves as a momentum. Many medallions had been now of low high quality and offered for just a few shillings, which means they aren’t value a lot in the present day apart from sentimental worth. Nevertheless, medallions of the interval with enamel ornament, stones or pearl ornament enhance the worth and are mentioned to fetch between £400 and £750.
The recognition and demand for lockets additionally meant that the main jewelers of the time, Cartier, Faberge, Garrard and Alexs Falize, additionally made them, and an vintage locket made by any of them would fetch a excessive value. Coronary heart-shaped medallions with pavé-set diamonds on the entrance and a stable rock crystal dome on the again relationship from the Eighties can fetch between £5,000 and £10,000. There are additionally ‘regard’ medallions, so known as as a result of the stones, ruby, emerald, garnet, amethyst, ruby and diamond spell ‘regard’. They’re in excessive demand and you must pay round £1,000 plus.
If a locket comprises a picture of a well-known particular person, it may possibly command a excessive value. A easy medallion brooch made for Queen Victoria to commemorate her favourite gillie, John Brown, offered at Bonhams some time in the past for £13,200. A locket that includes Nelson and Girl Hamilton’s hair, made in 1798, the yr their affair started, fetched £44,000 final yr – the estimate was £5,000.
Vintage medallions depicting unknown folks normally command extra modest quantities and all of it comes down to private style.