Lockets

The history of the locket necklace begins in the ancient world, when individuals would wear small pendants or amulets with secret interior compartments containing, at times, secret inscriptions or, at others, various potions. These substances could range from the recuperative, for the medicinal benefit of the wearer, to the poisonous, for self-protection.

Lockets maintained this use throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, with the tiny enclosures being used to secret away such poisons, but they also began to take on less nefarious connotations. British Queen Elizabeth I, for example, popularized the locket in the late 16th century as a means of circulating her portrait (she was rumored to give her likeness away in this format to all who visited her court).

The 19th-century Queen Victoria replaced this regal portrait with an early photograph of her lost Prince Albert following his death in 1861, transforming the locket into a means of mourning and remembrance.


Quick Facts

  • A Greek papyrus scroll dating to around 500 A.D. might represent the earliest recorded locket enclosure. Discovered in 2014, the papyrus’ folding pattern suggests it was once neatly tucked away inside of an amulet or pendant and worn in secret
  • Some lockets are known as lavalieres, named after 17th century French lady Louise, Duchesse de La Vallière. She wore ostentatious locket pendant necklaces while at court, hence the lending of her name to the style
  • The locket necklace was immortalized in the classic Broadway musical, “Annie,” when the little orphan girl gets a locket from Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks

Recommended Items at Auction

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SILVER AND GOLD MINIATURE ROMAN SOLDIER LOCKET
Oct 23, 10:00 AM EDT
SILVER AND GOLD MINIATURE ROMAN SOLDIER LOCKET
by Oakridge Auction Gallery
Est: $500- $700
$2501 Bid
MINIATURE BRASS BOOK ABRAHAM LINCOLN LOCKET
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
MINIATURE BRASS BOOK ABRAHAM LINCOLN LOCKET
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$1001 Bid
Sterling Silver Purple Heart Locket Pendant
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Purple Heart Locket Pendant
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
A white metal locket,
Oct 19, 10:00 AM BST
A white metal locket,
by Sworders
Est: £250- £350
£2000 Bids
EARLY 19TH C. MINIATURE PORTRAIT OF SEAFARER
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
EARLY 19TH C. MINIATURE PORTRAIT OF SEAFARER
by Dirk Soulis Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
Antique, Enamel and gold locket
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
Antique, Enamel and gold locket
by Rago Arts and Auction Center
Est: $600- $800
$4000 Bids
Antique Sterling SIlver Picture Locket Pendant Necklace
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Sterling SIlver Picture Locket Pendant Necklace
by Akiba Antiques
Est: $20- $200
$200 Bids
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zwei alte doublé Fotomedaillons mit Farbsteinen
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
zwei alte doublé Fotomedaillons mit Farbsteinen
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
Vanity Locket Frame
Oct 17, 1:00 PM EDT
Vanity Locket Frame
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
2 GOLD TONE LOCKET NECKLACES
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
2 GOLD TONE LOCKET NECKLACES
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $40- $60
$50 Bids
JOAN RIVERS RARE LOCKET NECKLACE FAUX PEARL
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
JOAN RIVERS RARE LOCKET NECKLACE FAUX PEARL
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $50- $100
$50 Bids
8 SILVER TONE NECKLACES--
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
8 SILVER TONE NECKLACES--
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $15- $35
$50 Bids
5 PCS OF JEWELRY- HOLD PHOTOS
Oct 20, 11:00 AM EDT
5 PCS OF JEWELRY- HOLD PHOTOS
by Premier Auctions Live
Est: $15- $45
$50 Bids
10k yellow gold Heart shape dangling locket pendant etched word "Love" and Rose.
Oct 19, 7:00 PM EDT
10k yellow gold Heart shape dangling locket pendant etched word "Love" and Rose.
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $200- $250
$800 Bids
An 18ct gold circular locket,
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
An 18ct gold circular locket,
by Sworders
Est: £150- £200
£1200 Bids
A gold ruby set locket,
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
A gold ruby set locket,
by Sworders
Est: £80- £120
£600 Bids
STERLING SILVER LOCKET WITH AMETHYST LOT 329
Oct 17, 5:00 PM EDT
STERLING SILVER LOCKET WITH AMETHYST LOT 329
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Sterling Silver Locket Pendant
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Locket Pendant
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$10 Bids
ANTIQUE VICTORIAN FANCY LINK BRACELET WITH LOCKET
Oct 22, 2:00 PM BST
ANTIQUE VICTORIAN FANCY LINK BRACELET WITH LOCKET
by Auction Zero
Est: £400- £600
£4000 Bids
ANTIQUE VICTORIAN MICRO MOSAIC PENDANT
Oct 22, 2:00 PM BST
ANTIQUE VICTORIAN MICRO MOSAIC PENDANT
by Auction Zero
Est: £400- £600
£4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Lockets


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