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A beautiful 18K yellow gold locket in the Art Nouveau taste, the front cover depicting a water nymph, her streaming hair entwined with seaweed studded with small rose-cut diamonds. Her ear is adorned with an earring in the form of a coral branch. Her head appears just above delicately rippling waves that high the word “Eau” for water. This design was part of a four-part series designed by Bargas representing the four elements of earth, air, fire and water. They are sometimes seen as buttons, but very rarely worked in gold and used as a locket. Like many French lockets of the period, this example opens by swiveling sideways rather than being hinged. The interior retains its original fittings and glass cover. The back cover has the slightly matte finish typical of Art Nouveau jewels and has a period “ES” monogram. The bail is fully hallmarked with 18K gold marks and with the maker’s mark (partially obscured).
Origin: France, ca. 1900. Condition: excellent, sharp detail. Size: 1-1/8” x 1-3/8” excluding jumpring). Weight: 9.9 grams. Approximate Total Diamond Weight: .05 ct.