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A magnificent French Art Nouveau 18K gold and diamond slide locket, the front cover featuring a a fierce griffin clutching an old European cut diamond in its mouth. The beast is beautifully chased and engraved with a lot of detail in the feathers and fur. The griffin is presented against an ornately pierced Renaissance style background that would allow small peaks to show through of any portrait or photo enclosed in the locket. In Greek mythology, griffins were the guardians of the most treasured and priceless possessions, and its role on the front of a locket mimics that idea. The diamond is of equally high quality, graded as G color, VVS1 clarity. The bail has partially obscured French hallmarks.
Origin: France, ca. 1890. Condition: excellent, sharp detail; a few small pinpoint dings on the back cover; no monogram. Dimensions: 1-1/16" diam (excluding bail). Weight: 14.6 gr. Approximate Diamond Weight: .24 ct.