a victorian keepsake love token shell valentine in the form of a heart
an exquisite heart shaped contoured glass covered diorama, consisting of a victorian print of a sailing boat in full sail in a seascape with shells and sea flora. surrounded by pelicans foot shells and pretty coloured and pearlescent European shells.
this is one of the best keepsakes I have had, the shells are bright and clean and are all intact. the wood effect paper on the reverse is in good condition, the brass hanging ring is in tact as is the silk ribbon that holds the third leg to the body of the keepsake.
shell work was very much in vogue when queen victoria came to the throne in 1837. her reign coincided with a period of tremendous social expansion as the industrial revolution gave more and more people free time, money and education to enjoy pastimes. coastal resorts and spas became popular holiday destinations. sea shells became very fashionable as souvenirs, in particular when they were incorporated into items such as this coer d' amour, to be taken home as a reminder of the good times spent on holiday or as a keepsake or love token to be given to a potential suitor.