Wearable Storytelling: The Locket

by baltringer

The locket is an iconic piece of jewelry that were designed as early as the 16th century. While they can differ in shape, style, material, or even how they are worn (a necklace, a ring, a broach…) they all open and have the ability to hold something inside. This vague “something” is exactly what makes the piece so desirable. Historically, lockets have held small pieces of cloth soaked in perfume, a lock of hair, poison, and most commonly- a photo. The more modern locket is primarily used in this last form; to keep something personal on you always. The locket takes on the significance of whatever the person wearing it finds important, and in this way, is inherently desirable. It is in itself a personal story of that who wears it. It can be a symbol of love, honor, or memory. It is an intimate piece of oneself, not open to the public, but has the ability to be opened and shared. It is the meaning behind the design which makes the locket brilliant and desired.

Every day, I wear a locket necklace gifted to me by my sister. This assignment gave me the chance to think about why I value it so much, and learn about its history. Queen Elizabeth I wore a locket ring every day containing a painted portrait of her mother, and one of herself. She also often gave friends within her inner circle a locket with her photo in it, displaying loyalty and love. They have been gifted throughout history as an intimate gift that describes the story of a relationship.

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