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Home / Sold Items / Antique niello photo locket made in the late 1800's

Antique niello photo locket made in the late 1800's

Made in the late 1800's, there is no doubt that this antique niello locket is so stark and magnificent to admire from near or far, and once photos of people close to you are placed inside, this will become an even more special and very sentimental piece of antique jewellery to wear with pride.

Contrary to popular thought, niello is actually not an enamelling technique, rather it is a blackening technique produced as an alloy of sulfur with copper, silver and lead. Once produced it is then used to fill the channels that have been previously engraved into the metal, and after a few more steps including polishing, the result is a wonderful contrast of colours in often a beautiful design as can be seen on the front of this locket.

The design is spectacular and a testament to the craftsmanship of what could be produced all those years ago. Perfect to be worn any time of the day or night and for any occasion, the locket measures 25.8mm across by 33.6mm or 46.1mm to the top of the bail.

Able to hold two photos inside, this will certainly always continue to be loved and cherished.


Stock# ES7856

Circa: 1890


Out of stock


Out of stock


Antique niello photo locket made in the late 1800's


A brief article on niello:

Dating from around the 11th century, niello is blackening technique produced as an alloy of sulfur with copper, silver and lead. Once produced, it is used to fill designs that have been engraved into the surface of a metal. Usually done to silver, once applied to the metal and heated, the result is a black colouring that runs into the engraved channels. The excess niello is then removed by scraping until the filled channels are clearly visible, and finally the surface is polished. The contrast of the black niello against the bright silver surface produces an attractive decorative effect. Regaining popularity during the Art Deco period of the 1920's to the 1940's, niello jewellery has a look that although first appearances will lead people to think it is enamel, it does have its own unique texture and feel.

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