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Maker: unknown
Date: ca. 1866
Material: Gold filled with enameled decoration
Size: 28 millimeters by 22 millimeters
Provenance: Adelicia to her daughter Pauline Acklen Lockett to her niece Pauline Acklen Landis to her daughter Pauline Landis Grizzard to her daughter Linda Grizzard Tiffany by gift to Belmont Mansion Association.
2014.23.02 by gift from Linda Grizzard Tiffany

The locket is gold-filled, oval in shape, and measures 28 millimeters by 22 millimeters. It weighs approximately 4.45 penny weights. There is an Order of the Garter emblem of blue enamel on the obverse (side facing the observer) and the name “Pauline” engraved on the reverse in a cartouche. The locket opens to reveal a knot of hair under glass. The hair may be Adelicia Acklen’s. The locket has a watch mechanism opening. Creating such as mechanism is a complicated process and is unusual for a locket. The piece could possibly have been purchased by a jeweler in France and assembled and engraved in America.

Lockets were an essential piece to any woman’s jewelry collection, especially in the second half of the nineteenth century. Sentimental lockets like this one, holding a lock of hair from Adelicia, would have been considered a classic piece. The exchange of locks of hair was a custom that was practiced to commemorate loved ones for both celebration and as an act of mourning. The practice stemmed from the late medieval period tradition of wearing mourning rings. The tradition was revived and expanded upon in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, the practice evolved into adding locks of hair in jewelry. Victorians often revived, and even reshaped, the concepts of medieval customs and chivalry. These concepts appealed to the Victorians’ romantic tendency. The Order of the Garter emblem on the front once more reflects the fascination Victorians had with British royalty and chivalry. This locket most likely belonged to Pauline, as her name is engraved on the back and the lock of hair was Adelicia’s.[1]


Sherry Male
Grace M. Allen
[1] Deirdre O’Day, Victorian Jewellery rev. ed. (London: Charles Letts Books Limited, 1982): 36-37, 64.

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