Do you know Marie Lichtenberg’s Locket necklaces ?

The influence of antique jewelry in contemporary jewelry

The ‘Locket Necklace’ by Marie Lichtenberg

Jewelry is an object that is often passed down, usually from mother to daughter. It is an old necklace that her mother gave her when she was a teenager that inspired the piece created by Marie Lichtenberg. Once redesigned, she crafted the famous ‘Locket Necklace.’

This necklace adorned with a clasp possesses a timeless style. Everything about this piece is unique: the shape, the decoration, and the sentimental message.

This “locket necklace” by Marie Lichtenberg has a cylindrical shape, is adorned with blue enamels, and carries a message: “Love” (on one facet) and “Always” (on another facet). The clasp is delicately set with brilliant-cut diamonds and is worn on a thin cord of Indian silk.

The influence of the ancient French regional clasp in Marie Lichtenberg’s jewelry is evident. With a certain taste, she reinvents its style to make it contemporary.

The antique French regional clasps

To better understand the origin of Marie Lichtenberg’s “locket necklaces,” let’s explore the old regional French clasps that are the source of her inspirations. These ancient clasps come in various decorations, shapes, and colors. We have the barrel clasp, the flat clasp, and other ancient clasps that do not fall into the first two categories.

Antique french regional clasps, Maison Mohs, in 18-karat gold, 19th century.

Barrel clasp

The barrel clasp, also known as a barrel clasp or a barrel-shaped clasp, is a fastening system often found on the necklaces and bracelets of our grandmothers. This clasp takes on a cylindrical shape with multiple facets (usually 6 to 8 facets).

The facets can be engraved and enameled, sometimes bearing messages. When they carry messages, it is through visual wordplay. This type of jewelry then falls into the category of antique sentiment jewelry.

This clasp is often the essential decorative element of the jewel. Placed on a curb-link chain (necklace or long necklace), it is the only ornament that ladies could afford in the 18th and 19th centuries. These clasps usually come from Normandy.

The flat clasp

The flat clasp is a fastening system in a rectangular shape. Like the previous clasp, it is typically engraved and decorated on both sides, with enamels in white, blue, green, and red. This jewel is adorned with flowers, pansies, meaning “Think of me,” a concealed sentimental message.

This clasp can also be adorned with a dog, a symbol of loyalty, a house, etc.

Other victorian french clasps

These clasps come in various shapes and cannot be classified into the first two categories. However, they exhibit the same style of engravings and chasing, enamel decoration, and concealed sentimental messages.

Here are some examples just for the eyes.

See our category “Regional Jewelry“, it might interest you.

Our article “Where to buy antique jewelry in Paris?” might also interest you.