Such a beautiful little blond boy, c.1770s, give or take 10 years, with his tousled blond hair and his wide beautiful blue eyes. Likely a last glimpse for his mama and papa. He looks to be only about 2 or 3 years old. Innocently yet importantly, he holds a little French lily which is significant as the Fleur de Lys, letting us know his allegiance (or rather that of his family) is Royalist. The other things we know from this elegant 18k gold locket frame is that he was a Noble, perhaps a Royal. And last, we know he didn't grow up. This is a mourning icon, made clear by the light blond lock of his hair entombed under thick polished rock crystal and mounted in gold with a carved surround of onyx - black for mourning. Alas, as is usual, we have no identity for him, and I find no artist's signature. I have no way to open this one, which leaves the possibility of some sort of ID still to be found within. Were he and his family lost to The Terror, or did he fall ill or childhood diseases we no longer worry over in our modern times? All we know is here. Full measurements noted on the photos, it is slightly oyster shape, deeper in center than on edges, all glass/stone neatly beveled - all of it hand made. Acid tested 18k gold. Looking at him again, it begs me to do more research - is it King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette's lost little boy? I've added a panel showing him so you can compare.
Very good to excellent condition throughout with a single flaw to note: a tight fine hairline across the black onyx on the hair locket side, showing to right as it hangs. I do apologize for the little bit of dirt showing in the hand crafted grooves of gold. To my older eyes, it looked clean and only after photos were done could I see in the enlargements it needed a cleaning (which has already been done, and also a light polish so the gold looks so beautiful now). This very old type of frame helps us date him to the last half of 1700s, and it would have had a gold bale up at the top to wear as jewelry with a gold chain, or hung in an intimate family frame of paintings.
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