At Nelson and Nelson, we are always especially pleased to highlight objects of particular aesthetic and historical importance, and our recent acquisition of this gold locket with diamond accents, attributed to Eugene Fontenay, is no different.
One of the most celebrated goldsmiths of 19th century France, Fontenay (1823-1887) was particularly embraced for his exquisite use of the ancient gold-smithing traditions of filigree and granulation to create beautiful pieces of jewelry reminiscent of ancient Greek and Roman designs, with a decidedly (albeit 19th-century) modern twist. Examples of Fontenay's work are featured the some of the top museums of the world, including the Met and the British Museum.
This absolutely gorgeous 18 karat yellow gold, diamond and enamel locket, circa 1860, is attributed to Eugene Fontenay. Although it is unsigned, many of Fontenay’s pieces were not signed until the late 1860s. Eugene Richet, a well-known miniaturist who painted plaques used in Fontenay’s jewelry, most likely enameled this particular locket. The rose-cut diamonds surrounding the plaque are typical of Fontenay’s designs, while the granulated and rope-style appliqués on the locket are of extremely fine quality and execution. For more information on this extraordinary locket, click here.