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A lovely double-sided 18K yellow gold and beveled crystal porte-photo (“photo carrier”), the gold rim simply decorated with a bound reed design in the Louis XVI style. It is cleverly constructed with a hidden screw mechanism that allows the gold frame to expand so the crystal covers can be removed for adding or changing the contents. Double-sided porte-photos were often used to display a photo on one side and a tiny lock of hair or a memento such as a pressed flower on the other. They could also be used to display a "public" photo on one side and a more "private" photo on the reverse. They are usually round or oval; lozenge-shaped examples such as this are uncommon. These lovely little pieces are becoming increasingly difficult to find. The porte-photo is fully stamped with French 18K gold hallmarks.
Origin: France, ca. 1880. Condition: excellent; very minor surface scratching on crystal consistent with age. Size: 1-5/16” x 1-1/2” (excluding jump ring). Weight: 6.0 grams.