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A lovely double-sided 18K yellow gold crystal “porte-photo” (photo carrier), the gold rim elegantly decorated with a bound reed design in the Louis XVI style. The crystal covers are faceted in a star design on both sides. The locket 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, a pressed flower or other memento. They could also be used to display a “public” photo on one side and a more “private” image on the other. They are usually round or oval; a hexagonal example is rather uncommon. These lovely little pieces have become increasingly difficult to find. The porte-photo is fully stamped with French 18K gold hallmarks.
Origin: France, ca. 1890. Condition: excellent, no chips or cracks to crystal. Size: 1-3/32” diameter (excluding bale).