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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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14K Gold Chain & Locket
Oct 08, 10:00 AM MST
14K Gold Chain & Locket
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$757 Bids
Miniature locket on ivory portrait of a gentleman
Oct 06, 9:00 AM EDT
Miniature locket on ivory portrait of a gentleman
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $300
$1754 Bids
Sterling Silver Necklace With Locket Pendant
Oct 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Necklace With Locket Pendant
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$63 Bids
VINTAGE 10K GOLD LIBERTY HEAD LOCKET
Oct 10, 5:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE 10K GOLD LIBERTY HEAD LOCKET
by Atlee Raber Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
14K Gold Diamond Locket
Oct 08, 12:00 PM EDT
14K Gold Diamond Locket
by Blackwell Auctions LLC
Est: $200- $400
$1502 Bids
A 10K GOLD LOCKET. 10.4 grams. 3.75 cm x 2.5 cm.
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A 10K GOLD LOCKET. 10.4 grams. 3.75 cm x 2.5 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£301 Bid
Vintage 14K Gold Designer Jewelry Necklace And Locket
Oct 20, 6:00 PM EDT
Vintage 14K Gold Designer Jewelry Necklace And Locket
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$51 Bid
AN ANTIQUE YELLOW METAL LOCKET. 2.5 grams. 1.75 cm x 1.5 cm.
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
AN ANTIQUE YELLOW METAL LOCKET. 2.5 grams. 1.75 cm x 1.5 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £30- £50
£200 Bids
A 19TH CENTURY CARVED EBONY LOCKET AND JET NECKLACE
Oct 20, 2:00 PM BST
A 19TH CENTURY CARVED EBONY LOCKET AND JET NECKLACE
by Curated Auctions
Est: £60- £80
£500 Bids
A Victorian unmarked locket. 3 cm high.
Oct 08, 10:00 AM BST
A Victorian unmarked locket. 3 cm high.
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £80- £120
£800 Bids
3 LARGE PENDANT ,LOCKETS
Oct 12, 11:00 AM EDT
3 LARGE PENDANT ,LOCKETS
by Vintage Auctions Online
Est: $10- $30
$50 Bids
9ct late Victorian footed gold chain with a rolled gold engraved locket (Testing as 7-8ct gold) Late Victorian.
Oct 09, 12:00 PM AEDT
9ct late Victorian footed gold chain with a rolled gold engraved locket (Testing as 7-8ct gold) Late Victorian.
by Christian McCann Auctions
Est: AUD1,200- AUD1,800
AUD9500 Bids
Locket Ana Amalia Batlle
Oct 15, 3:00 PM UYT
Locket Ana Amalia Batlle
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $500- $1,000
$4000 Bids
18K. Rose gold Victorian 'Pool of Light' locket with ribbon bow, set with approx. 4.90 ct. diamond and rock crystal.
Oct 12, 10:00 AM CEST
18K. Rose gold Victorian 'Pool of Light' locket with ribbon bow, set with approx. 4.90 ct. diamond and rock crystal.
by Veilinghuis de Ruiter
Est: €1,500- €2,000
€1,0000 Bids
Locket Ana Amalia Batlle
Oct 15, 3:00 PM UYT
Locket Ana Amalia Batlle
by Zorrilla Subastas
Est: $400- $500
$3000 Bids
Enamel Sneak Form Locket
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
Enamel Sneak Form Locket
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
Vanity Locket Frame
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
Vanity Locket Frame
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
Copper locket
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
Copper locket
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $35- $350
$350 Bids
Tiny Gold Filled Locket
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
Tiny Gold Filled Locket
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $30- $300
$300 Bids
A VICTORIAN WHITE METAL LOCKET ENGRAVED WITH A BIRD AMONGST FOLIAGE. 3.1cm x 2.2cm, weight 5.6g
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A VICTORIAN WHITE METAL LOCKET ENGRAVED WITH A BIRD AMONGST FOLIAGE. 3.1cm x 2.2cm, weight 5.6g
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£40 Bids
A Sterling Locket Pendant
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
A Sterling Locket Pendant
by Designer Homes of Central Florida
Est: $125- $1,250
$1250 Bids
Victorian 15K Y/G picture locket
Oct 17, 2:00 PM PDT
Victorian 15K Y/G picture locket
by International Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $150
$600 Bids
A 15CT GOLD SEED PEARL LOCKET. 5.8 grams. 3.5 cm x 2.25 cm.
Oct 12, 9:30 AM BST
A 15CT GOLD SEED PEARL LOCKET. 5.8 grams. 3.5 cm x 2.25 cm.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £80- £120
£600 Bids
14k Royal Blue Enamel Victorian Locket
Oct 06, 2:00 PM EDT
14k Royal Blue Enamel Victorian Locket
by Intervendue
Est: $800- $1,000
$3500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Lockets


Hannam's Auctioneers

Hannam's Auctioneers

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Roland Auctions NY

Roland Auctions NY

Zorrilla Subastas

Zorrilla Subastas