Most popular during the Victorian Age, lockets are either hanging pendants, pins, or rings meant to house photos, pictures, or even a lock of hair. Powder, medicine, herbs, poison, ashes or good luck charms were (are?) also common… basically anything small that could be carried around and kept handy. During times where bathing was sort of a luxury, lockets could hold cotton balls soaked in perfume. Lockets always remind me of being little, when tiny objects were so precious that you wanted to keep them with you always: seed pods, notes, pebbles, little bones, insect wings. Though these lockets are like most manufactured today: meant for holding pictures, but they could be filled with just about anything: I like to think of them as the smallest possible <portable> curio cabinet!
Locket containing George Washington and Martha Washington’s hair sold at James D. Julia Auctions August 5, 2009 for $ 7,475.00 (source here)
This Victorian Era locket was found in 1971, inside a cave on Okinawa. There are four different locks of hair which some are light brown or blond. Presumably the locket was lost by a U.S. servicemember during the battle. No other identifing marks. (source)
The way in which lockets can be memorial, housing likenesses and even bodily remnants …basically… makes them relics – some powerful stuff! Photography of religious relics generally seems to be forbidden, but check this one out! It would need a HUGE locket:
Saint Vincent’s arm (source), tucked away in Valencia’s city cathedral.
Here are some of the lockets I’ve constructed in the past week or so:
(Maybe one to keep hair in?)