This Victorian locket and chain were designed utilizing the art of niello. Niello, is the term used to describe the process of fusing silver,copper,gold and sulphur and then pouring them on to incised silver. The patterns created by incising the silver are then filled with the fused metals. The effect is unique , and when combined with rose gold vermeil (silver with a gold wash), it is transformed into a beautiful piece of jewelry.
This example has a particularly pretty chain. The chain has double links in an elongated navette shape that alternate niello with rich rose gold links. The locket too is unique, as it has a pattern very reminiscent of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The locket is as streamlined in design as the chain, and they are beautiful together.
The chain measures 29.5 inches long X slightly less than 1/4 inches wide. The It has a dog clasp that could be used as a clasp or to connect a locket or pendant.
The condition is superb on both the chain and locket. The white areas seen in any photo are simply due to the lighting. All the patterns in the niello are perfect and the rose gold, rich in color.
The locket has an "O" ring with letters that look like an AW or HW. and an 800 silver mark. The chain is unmarked, but has been tested to be 800 silver. The chain alone weighs 6.9 grams and with the locket it weighs 23.5 grams.
The locket opens and closes securely and retains the original glass inserts.
European, possibly Austrian, circa 1900