EX­PERT AD­VICE

Vic­to­rian lock­ets are more pop­u­lar than ever. We got the in­side scoop on col­lect­ing these time­less me­men­tos.

Flea Market Décor - - Contents - BY KATHRYN DRURY WAG­NER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY COUR­TESY OF LUNA & STELLA

QUEEN VICTORIA RE­CEIVED A SPE­CIAL GIFT AFTER HER FIRST CHILD WAS BORN in 1840: a bracelet with a locket, con­tain­ing the name of her child and a snip­pet of the baby’s hair. After each sub­se­quent child was born, a locket was added—she had 9 chil­dren—and the bracelet is to­day held in the Royal Col­lec­tion Trust. Victoria of­ten started trends, and jew­elry was no ex­cep­tion. “Lock­ets came to be seen as a way to keep a loved one close,” says Suzanne El­lis Wernevi, the founder and owner of jew­elry com­pany Luna & Stella. Suzanne started her com­pany in 2009, and while it car­ries con­tem­po­rary jew­elry with sym­bol­ism, such as birth­stones, she has ex­panded into of­fer­ing an­tique lock­ets too. “I have al­ways loved lock­ets,” she says. “It’s an ob­ses­sion! It’s a good thing I’m sell­ing them.” She fo­cuses on lock­ets made in Prov­i­dence and East Prov­i­dence, Rhode Is­land, as well as At­tle­boro, Mas­sachusetts, be­tween 1880 and 1940. “Most are marked, though not all. We’re look­ing for spe­cific man­u­fac­tur­ers,” she says. The lock­ets fea­ture en­grav­ing, stone set­ting and hinges all made by hand. Why have an­tique lock­ets come into fash­ion? “I think in un­cer­tain times, peo­ple are drawn to some­thing that has sur­vived and gone through great up­heavals in so­ci­ety,” Suzanne says. “And in a time when peo­ple are spread out, lock­ets are a way to be close; it’s a point of con­nec­tion. I’ve seen peo­ple put pho­tos in a locket and wrap it around a bridal bou­quet, for ex­am­ple, to have a pres­ence if some­one can­not at­tend the wed­ding in per­son. I hope I’m mak­ing it eas­ier for peo­ple to shop for them, by pulling them to­gether in one place, but it’s some­thing that you can shop for all over the coun­try.”

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