Found this lovely locket at the St. Lawrence Antique Market on Sunday. I could not resist it’s simple shape, elegant engraving and its beautiful bloomed finish.
Blooming is a finishing technique that’s been around since the 1700s and hit peak popularity in the Art Nouveau era. The simplest definition is that it is acid etch
that leaves a slight matte but glows texture, not unlike the surface of a peach. By the 1930s, it had largely fallen out of favour because the process is toxic and time consuming.
Another thing I love about lockets is when I find a picture inside. This sun dappled gent looks to be from the 1930s. The locket could be older, but because it’s so unfussy, I reckon that it’s in that ballpark. I’m also guessing it originally hung from a pocket watch chain instead of being a pendant. The chain is marked 9C (9 karat).
The locket is slightly discoloured by wear, which makes sense because the acid etching process draws the non alloy, pure gold elements to the surface, but that layer can be worn away with wear. And while here are no marks that I can see on the locket, it tests at least 14k. The lips are total fakes, drawn on to disguise a face ravaged by being sick last week. Also, I feel like I need a third chain to have a successful necklace layering thing going on.