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Victorian 18ct Gold & Blue Enamel Stanhope Locket

906M
287 Admirers
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An unusual 18ct gold book shaped pendant that hinges opens to reveal three viewing holes. Originally you would have looked through these tiny holes and would have seen some miniature photographs as there are three holes on the spine of the book as well. Unfortunately there are no photographs there now but it is still a fascinating survival from the 1880s. It has been enamelled with ivy leaves on one side and a monogram on the other.  The photos would most likely have been of family members. It has been enamelled with ivy leaves on one side and a monogram on the other. I have included here an article from Wikpedia which explains more about the history of the Stanhope.

Stanhopes  are optical devices that enable the viewing of microphotographs without using a microscope. They were invented by Rene Dagron in 1857. Dagron bypassed the need for an expensive microscope to view the microscopic photographs by attaching the microphotograph at the end of a modified Stanhope lens. He called the devices bijoux photo-microscopiques or microscopic photo-jewelry. In 1862, Dagron displayed the devices at the Exhibition in London, where he got an “Honourable Mention” and presented them to Queen Victoria. In 1864 Dagron became famous when he produced a stanhope optical viewer which enabled the viewing of a microphotograph 1 square millimetre (0.0016 sq in), (equivalent in size to the head of a pin), that included the portraits of 450 people.

Written by Olly Gerrish

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Date & Origin

Condition

Very Good, some enamel deficient

Provenance

English

Materials

Gold Enamel

Hallmarks

Unmarked, tested to 18ct gold

Measurements

Height 1.8 cm
Width 1.4 cm

Item Number

906M
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