an antique victorian keep sake love token sailors valentine roundel .
approx 200mm in diameter.
an exquisite round shaped flat glass covered diorama, ( often known as a porthole, bulls eye roundels had curved glass ) consisting of a victorian hand coloured photographic print of a view from point old Portsmouth over to gosport with shells and sea flora. surrounded by pelicans foot shells , cowrie, mussel, periwinkle and pretty coloured and pearlescent English and european shells.
Careful inspection and just in the photograph, top right, will reveal Lord Nelsons flagship HMS Victory at her mooring. below that can be seen the old floating bridge or chain ferry to gosport. one of the original financiers of the project was sir Francis Austen brother to Jane Austen.
this is a fine example of a shell keepsake. the shells are bright and all intact, they have been carefully cleaned and conserved removing a century of dirt, soot and grime to revitalise their natural beauty. the wood effect paper on the reverse is in good condition, the brass hanging ring is in tact and is strong ready for wall hanging.
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 rounds, 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.
this antique shell keepsake was manufactured in the uk over 100 years ago.