Pendants are loose-hanging jewellery pieces worn from chains or necklaces. Throughout history, pendants have taken various shapes, forms, and meanings. In 1939, the ancient city of Susa in modern-day Iran was excavated and a pendant called the Petit chien a beliere (small bound dog) was found. This pendant is thought to be from 3300-3100 BCE. Pendants have taken the form of amulets, talismans and medallions throughout history. Cross pendants have been produced and worn since the advent of Christianity. They were not only worn by clergy members throughout history, but by wealthy members of society who wanted to proclaim their allegiance to the Church. Gem-set pendants were very popular in the Victorian era, and many members of the Royal Family wore diamond pendants. Queen Alexandra of Denmark, wife of Edward VII, famously loved to wear jewellery and was often photographed and painted wearing exceptional pendants. Pendants in Bentley & Skinner’s extensive collection include crosses, decorative emblems, portrait miniatures, and gem-set designs.
Bentley & Skinner are also pleased to carry a variety of lockets. Lockets are small cases with hinged lids, used since the Middle Ages to hold portraits, photographs, locks of hair, or special messages. In the Georgian and Victorian era, lockets often held locks of hair as mourning jewellery, worn to remember a loved one who had died. During the Victorian era, heart-shaped lockets became popular sentimental gifts, often given as betrothal gifts or friendship gifts. In the modern era, heart-shaped lockets have become the most well-known form of locket, often given as gifts with photographs or other personal keepsakes inside of them. Lockets are a lovely reminder of the sentimental jewellery of the past.
Bentley & Skinner are delighted to stock a wide variety of pendants and lockets, from the romantic and intricate styles of the Georgian and Victorian era to the bold statement pieces of the 20th and 21st century. The lockets and pendants in our collection are often sold as single pieces, but we can help you find the perfect chain for your antique pendant if you desire.