Lockets used to be worn in the 18th and 19th century to remember loved ones. Often monogramed, they would typically hold miniature portraits or a lock of hair that would be woven into a design and worn on gold chains, strings of pearls or velvet ribbons. This is an example of large oval gold pendants that were particularly favoured in the 1860's and 1870's.
This revival design combines the Etruscan style of corded wire and bead granulation work on a matt gold surface. The carved cameo depicts Nike, Goddess of Victory, holding a palm branch (an emblem of victory) with a serpent at her feet, symbolizing rebirth, immortality and healing. On the reverse of the pendant, it is monogrammed with two Bs.
An Etruscan-Revival Hardstone Cameo and Gold Pendant Locket, circa 1870