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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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TWO ENAMELED SILVER EGG LOCKET PEDANTS WITH PEARLS
May 23, 3:30 PM AEST
TWO ENAMELED SILVER EGG LOCKET PEDANTS WITH PEARLS
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD120
AUD14012 Bids
A 9CT GOLD SPINNING LOCKET PENDANT
May 23, 3:30 PM AEST
A 9CT GOLD SPINNING LOCKET PENDANT
by Lawsons
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD1008 Bids
14k Gold and Enamel Locket Pendant
May 23, 12:00 PM EDT
14k Gold and Enamel Locket Pendant
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $100- $1,000
$2004 Bids
AN 18CT GOLD HEART LOCKET PENDANT
May 23, 3:30 PM AEST
AN 18CT GOLD HEART LOCKET PENDANT
by Lawsons
Est: AUD80- AUD140
AUD453 Bids
Sterling Silver Heart Trinket Locket
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Heart Trinket Locket
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$62 Bids
THREE ANTIQUE GOLD FILLED NECKLACES WITH LOCKETS
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
THREE ANTIQUE GOLD FILLED NECKLACES WITH LOCKETS
by Cordier Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
ANTIQUE DIAMOND SHIELD LOCKET PENDANT WITH CHAIN
May 21, 4:00 PM BST
ANTIQUE DIAMOND SHIELD LOCKET PENDANT WITH CHAIN
by Etrusca Auction
Est: £200- £400
£1001 Bid
AN ARTS AND CRAFTS SILVER VIKING BROOCH and an antique silver locket. 72.1 grams. Largest 4.75 cm wi
May 23, 11:00 AM BST
AN ARTS AND CRAFTS SILVER VIKING BROOCH and an antique silver locket. 72.1 grams. Largest 4.75 cm wi
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £80- £120
£41 Bid
Trifari Gold Tn Crystal Crown & Book Locket
Jun 05, 10:00 AM EDT
Trifari Gold Tn Crystal Crown & Book Locket
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $100
$11 Bid
RUSSIAN GILT SILVER GUILLOCHE ENAMEL EGG LOCKET
Jun 01, 10:00 AM EDT
RUSSIAN GILT SILVER GUILLOCHE ENAMEL EGG LOCKET
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$501 Bid
GOLD LONG CHAIN AND DIAMOND LOCKET, 1890s
May 23, 2:30 PM BST
GOLD LONG CHAIN AND DIAMOND LOCKET, 1890s
by Olympia Auctions
Est: £600- £800
£3001 Bid
A 14 Carat Gold Heart Shaped Locket. Stamped 14K, 1.9cm x 1.7cm, weight 4.3g.
May 22, 11:00 AM BST
A 14 Carat Gold Heart Shaped Locket. Stamped 14K, 1.9cm x 1.7cm, weight 4.3g.
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £50- £75
£101 Bid
Vintage 14K Gold Locket
May 31, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage 14K Gold Locket
by Block Auction House
Est: $60- $100
$301 Bid
12k Gold Filled Locket Pendant
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
12k Gold Filled Locket Pendant
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$11 Bid
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.925 Silver Locket On Beaded Necklace
May 23, 6:00 PM EDT
.925 Silver Locket On Beaded Necklace
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
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925 Marked Kalachakra Gau Locket
May 23, 6:00 PM EDT
925 Marked Kalachakra Gau Locket
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
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JEWELRY. Lapis Lazuli and Enamel Locket Pendant.
Jun 02, 10:00 AM EDT
JEWELRY. Lapis Lazuli and Enamel Locket Pendant.
by Clarke Auction Gallery
Est: $600- $900
$3001 Bid
A Victorian Jet Mourning Locket set with a Gold Cross mounted with Pearls. 5.5cm x 3.7cm x 1.7cm, we
May 22, 11:00 AM BST
A Victorian Jet Mourning Locket set with a Gold Cross mounted with Pearls. 5.5cm x 3.7cm x 1.7cm, we
by Hannam's Auctioneers
Est: £80- £120
£501 Bid
14K yellow gold locket on chain, etc.
May 20, 9:00 AM EDT
14K yellow gold locket on chain, etc.
by Pook & Pook Inc.
Est: $200- $220
$1001 Bid
An Edwardian guilloché enamel and rose cut diamond locket pendant and chain, c.1910,
May 21, 10:00 AM BST
An Edwardian guilloché enamel and rose cut diamond locket pendant and chain, c.1910,
by Sworders
Est: £500- £600
£4001 Bid
Georgian Hairwork & Paste Pendant
May 29, 10:00 AM CDT
Georgian Hairwork & Paste Pendant
by Revere Auctions
Est: $300- $600
$1501 Bid
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

Sellers Who Sell Lockets


Intervendue

Intervendue

Ostantix Auctions

Ostantix Auctions

Etrusca Auction

Etrusca Auction

Leski Auctions Pty Ltd

Leski Auctions Pty Ltd