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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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A SILVER VICTORIAN STYLE LOCKET PENDANT NECKLACE
Feb 29, 3:30 PM AEDT
A SILVER VICTORIAN STYLE LOCKET PENDANT NECKLACE
by Lawsons
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD14010 Bids
Antique 10kt Yellow Gold Locket with Diamond & Enameling
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Antique 10kt Yellow Gold Locket with Diamond & Enameling
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$804 Bids
A Victorian Snake Mourning Locket & Snake Link Muff Chain, Gold Filled
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
A Victorian Snake Mourning Locket & Snake Link Muff Chain, Gold Filled
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD2203 Bids
Rare Single Demantoid Garnet and Blue Glass Sterling Locket
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
Rare Single Demantoid Garnet and Blue Glass Sterling Locket
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$353 Bids
American 14k gold locket
Feb 28, 9:00 AM EST
American 14k gold locket
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $900- $1,000
$6502 Bids
An Edwardian 9ct Yellow Gold & Enamel Envelope Locket Charm, Twopenny Blue Stamp with Gold Card Insert
Feb 29, 6:00 PM AEDT
An Edwardian 9ct Yellow Gold & Enamel Envelope Locket Charm, Twopenny Blue Stamp with Gold Card Insert
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD200- AUD300
AUD2202 Bids
Antique Art Nouveau Copper Figural Locket
Mar 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Art Nouveau Copper Figural Locket
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $40- $80
$11 Bid
Antique Hand Painted Portrait In 375 Gold Locket
Mar 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Hand Painted Portrait In 375 Gold Locket
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $100- $200
$11 Bid
THREE PORTRAIT LOCKETS.
Mar 08, 11:00 AM EST
THREE PORTRAIT LOCKETS.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $150- $300
$701 Bid
14K Yellow Gold Floral Engraved Oval Locket Pendant Necklace
Mar 03, 10:00 AM EST
14K Yellow Gold Floral Engraved Oval Locket Pendant Necklace
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Antique Victorian Gold Book Locket Pendant
Mar 20, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Victorian Gold Book Locket Pendant
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $100- $300
$11 Bid
8 kt gold onyx-brilliant-locketpendant
Feb 29, 11:00 AM CET
8 kt gold onyx-brilliant-locketpendant
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €220- €880
€2000 Bids
OBSIDIAN HEART LOCKET ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 15, 1:00 PM CST
OBSIDIAN HEART LOCKET ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
BANDED AGATE HEART LOCKET ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 15, 1:00 PM CST
BANDED AGATE HEART LOCKET ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
RED JASPER LOCKET PENDANT ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
Jan 15, 1:00 PM CST
RED JASPER LOCKET PENDANT ROCK STONE LAPIDARY SPECIMEN
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$1000 Bids
14 kt gold ruby locketpendant
Mar 01, 12:00 PM CET
14 kt gold ruby locketpendant
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €690- €2,760
€6500 Bids
Sterling silver necklace with locket
Mar 05, 6:00 PM CST
Sterling silver necklace with locket
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $16- $48
$80 Bids
A 14kt gold and jet mourning locket with dried flowers
Feb 27, 10:00 AM CET
A 14kt gold and jet mourning locket with dried flowers
by Ostantix Auctions
Est: €200- €250
€1500 Bids
ELIZABETHAN LOCKET, 19TH CENTURY, IN LOW GOLD WITH TURQUOISE BEADS
Mar 06, 5:00 PM CET
ELIZABETHAN LOCKET, 19TH CENTURY, IN LOW GOLD WITH TURQUOISE BEADS
by Ansorena
Est: €300- €400
€2000 Bids
An 18kt gold, jet and diamond mourning locket
Feb 27, 10:00 AM CET
An 18kt gold, jet and diamond mourning locket
by Ostantix Auctions
Est: €200- €250
€1600 Bids
14K YELLOW GOLD BLUE ENAMEL ENGINE TURNED LOCKET NECKLACE PENDANT
Mar 10, 10:00 AM PST
14K YELLOW GOLD BLUE ENAMEL ENGINE TURNED LOCKET NECKLACE PENDANT
by Taylor & Harris
Est: $250- $300
$2000 Bids
18 kt gold clip-locketpendant
Mar 01, 12:00 PM CET
18 kt gold clip-locketpendant
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €700- €4,000
€7000 Bids
14 kt geelgouden ronde scharnierende medaillon han…
Feb 28, 7:00 PM CET
14 kt geelgouden ronde scharnierende medaillon han…
by Veilinghuis Van Spengen
Est: €200- €300
€1000 Bids
A 14K yellow gold heart locket, 4.5g . 38mm x 20mm ref: SH1303I-1
Feb 28, 10:00 AM GMT
A 14K yellow gold heart locket, 4.5g . 38mm x 20mm ref: SH1303I-1
by Cadmore Auctions
Est: £150- £200
£1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Lockets


Roseberys

Roseberys

Hannam's Auctioneers

Hannam's Auctioneers

Berner's Auction Gallery

Berner's Auction Gallery

Martel Maides

Martel Maides