Victorian Locket Decorated With Childrens' Milk Teeth Up For Auction
A Victorian locket decorated with childrens' milk teeth is one of a selection of historic lots from the Estate of the late Sir John and Lady Smith, best known as the co-founders of the Landmark Trust, going up for auction at Chorley’s in July.
Sir John is also a descendant of 19th-century travel pioneer Thomas Cook who founded the travel agency Thomas Cook & Son.
The Victorian oval locket decorated with a cross in diamonds and children’s teeth to a blue enamel border, in a fitted case, is set to achieve £100-200 at Gloucestershire based auction house Chorley’s on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 July.
Teeth jewellery was one of the more unusual fashions of the Victorian era and although relatively common in the late 19th Century, few pieces have survived. Rings, brooches, pins and pendants embedded with Children’s milk teeth were called ‘Mother’s jewellery’. When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s daughter Victoria lost a baby tooth on a family trip to Scotland, it was made into a gold and enamel brooch, the milk tooth forming the blossom of a thistle.
Since 1965 the Trust has saved over 200 historic buildings from ruin or unsympathetic alteration. Sir John was principally interested in old buildings and the Trust enabled him to acquire and preserve some of the most quirky and beautiful examples for the enjoyment of future generations. By the time the Trust was set up most of the more renowned buildings were being protected but as he later explained “very many minor buildings, put up with thought and care by skilled, intelligent people long ago, were disappearing”.