Carved carnelian locket pendant

Feb 16, 2020. 19:05 UTC
Carved Carnelian Locket Pendant
United States of America

Acquired from

For sale

Old locket pendant with gold setting 4 cm x 5 cm. Appears to be carved carnelian on one side and black onyx on the other. Seems to be in excellent condition.


Not exactly certain of history but believe that it was owned by Lissel Samson orginally. She was born in San Francisco in about 1880, moved to Berlin around the turn of the century, married in 1904 and died in 1915 in Berlin. Her husband, Josef, a Berlin born Jew (1878) was a successful physician. Doctor Samson and his much younger second wife (32 years younger) fled Germany in 1932 right when Hitler came to power. They relocated to Paris where he practiced medicine again. Both were sent to internment camps by the French in 1940 (as they were German). Later released they were able to make their way to the states in 1942 via Lisbon. They resided in NYC and Josef again practiced medicine until his death in 1962. Katie (the second wife) lived in the same apartment from 1942 to 2006 when she died at the age of 96. We received this item as part of the estate. Unfortunately the photos in the locket give us no further clues. So while this may have been acquired any time along their journey we do believe that this dates back to Josef and his first wife in some way - perhaps a gift from her parents.

Answered within about 20 hours
Feb 17, 15:13 UTC
By Sabrina Vinther

Fair Market Value

$300 - $500 USD

Insurance Value

$800 USD
What does this mean?

Dear Ralph,

Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry. So that I may best assist you, can you please upload a few better images the whole of the locket pendant and also if there are any marks I would like to see those too.


Ralph webster Feb 17, 16:28 UTC

I have attached several more pictures. Hope these help. I can take more if needed. Just tell me. As to marks I have been searching and cannot seem to find any. Again you may have to point me in the right direction. One thing I have noted is that there may have been a repair - not on the locket but on the swing that holds the locket. One one side of the swing it looks to have been cut and/or soldered - but that is hardly visible.

Sabrina vinther Feb 18, 19:33 UTC

Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry.

It is a beautiful locket with a very special design and look to it. Such vintage and antique jewellery and curiosities are being offered at auction on a regular basis.
It is an absolutely adorable locket - it has all the charm and elegance of a piece of jewellery from the late 1800s to the early 1900s when this particular piece was made. It could either have been made in England or in France based on the way the locket is decorated and engraved.
The provenance of the piece only adds to the charm of the locket. However it is not the kind of jewellery that fetches the sky high prices. That tend to be jewellery set with diamonds and other precious stones. However the locket has the age, the charm and the history to attract the attention of both collectors and dealers if it came up for auction.
The estimate provided is for a well-advertised specialised online jewellery and objects of vertue auction, where I believe the locket has the best chance of realising its fullest potential. However, there is no measurement for the sentimental value you might attach to the locket. Retail "asking prices" can be higher and vary.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I’m happy to help.
Thank you

This item is for sale

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