Late Victorian large sterling silver and Niello locket, circa 1890. Niello pieces were created by melding silver, copper and lead with sulphur, and using the combination to create an inlay or engraved/etched metal. Niello is more robust than enamel, and provides an attractive contrast to silver, especially through engraving and etching.
This large, oval niello locket with its two-sided patterns; one side shows a checkered pattern, and the other shows a well-dressed gentleman whose hat is flying off while he rides a horse. The locket includes the original Niello bale. Inside are two photo compartments, containing a black-and-white photograph of a lady on one side, and on the other side, a sepia photograph of a lady with a dog. The locket shuts with a good snap, and it stays securely closed. Besides the normal surface wear, the overall condition of the locket is very good. The back side showing the checkered pattern is not missing any niello work. On the front side, the horse-riding scene still displays the subjects beautifully. (Note: the darkened area on the bottom is the result of a shadow thrown by the camera; it is not a blemish). The locket is possibly Russian in origin.
Total Drop: Approximately 53mm (including the bale)
Width: Approximately 30mm (at the widest)