A beloved whippet, framed by delicate etched scrolls, graces the front of this enchanting silver keepsake. Perhaps the locket held a tuft of fur or dried wildflower as a memento from the owner's carefree days spent hunting with their trusty hound in the English countryside.
Dogs were key to English culture in the Victorian Era. Hunting with hounds was a popular leisure activity, but people also kept dogs for work or companionship. The English went wild with canine breeding in the late 1800's, producing an explosion of breeds that came and went with habits and fashions. The Whippet, aka Snap Dog, was bred for racing and rabbit hunting as a compact alternative to greyhounds. Being smaller, they were affordable to keep and thus became a dog for everyday people, more so than the elite (who kept fashionable pooches for show, on the streets or in competitions). Side note: Queen Victoria entered a dog show in 1891 with a gaggle of Pomeranians named Fluffy, Nino, Mino, Beppo, Gilda and Lulu. We imagine our whippet here with a more down-to-earth name like Sam or Hunter. A new name is up to you...
Antique locket on vintage chain. Sterling silver. Locket hallmarked for Sydenham Brothers, Birmingham, England, 1893. Measures approximately 1" long, just under .75" wide and .5cm deep. Sold on a 24" chain. Good condition with age as expected and scratch marks: illegible name scratched inside and initials KC on back.
The Victorian display box shown is available; please email to purchase.
Whippets can run up to 35 mph and have keen eyesight. While they might be fast hunters, they were bred as a BFF to people - so count on them to chase rodents but not to guard your house from human intruders!
A portion of the sale of this item will be donated to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.