Medallions are a type of jewelry, which itself is associated with vintage and antique. Let’s talk about it in more detail!
At first, medallions (or lockets) were used for more prosaic purposes: herbs, medicines, aromatic substances, elements for protection against evil spirits, etc. were carried there. If we consider that the main idea of the medallion – to contain small things, then even a bag on a string – already a medallion. But if you are wealthy, you can afford a “pouch” made of silver and a “string” in the form of an elegant chain.
Probably the most famous locket in this sense is the ring of Elizabeth I. It was a ring with a stash containing her portrait and her mother Anne Boleyn.
But there are less sentimental examples. In 1649, King Charles I of Great Britain was executed. Many of his supporters then wore medallions with his profile, or lock of hair. Wore them secretly so as not to be persecuted.
How to keep a piece of dear man, if there is no picture, the possibility of ordering an expensive portrait? And if you want to always carry it with you? A lock of hair is a perfect candidate. That’s why very often the deceased was cut to get the coveted strand. In the 17th century, they were placed so that no one could see it. This gave the locket an intimate feel.
In the next century, hair was used to create graceful compositions, patterns, and braids. It was a “facade” of jewelry, the strands were no longer hidden. And in the 19th century entire jewelry was made of hair – bracelets, pendants, brooches. They also made tiny portraits of eyes, or one eye of a dear person in the enamel technique and they also decorated the locks.
At this time, Queen Victoria influenced the craze for loquettes. After the death of Prince Albert, she wore a loquette all the time. As we know, she changed jewelry fashion in a lot of different ways. So also wore lockets made entirely of glass, or with one glass side. So that a locket could be seen.
The next surge in the popularity of lockets was during the First and Second World Wars. Soldiers gave lockets to their loved ones and wore them themselves. There were even locs with compasses. In contrast to the 18th and 19th centuries, these were affordable inexpensive items. Everyone could afford them.