Continental Gold-mounted Pendant, with a gold-mounted coquilla or rudraksha nut opening to a portrait on either side and inscription reading "From Australia July 1868 From Alfred," ht. 3/4 in.
Provenance: Possibly descended from Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia to her daughter, Princess Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania to her daughter Princess Ileana of Romania through the royal family.
N.B. Locket appears to depict the Queen Marie and King Ferdinand I of Romania.
Marie was the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna, the only daughter of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Princess Marie of Hesse and by Rhine. Prince Alfred, second son of Queen Victoria, was enthusiastically received in Australia in 1867 as the first member of the British royal family to set foot in the country. He went back in 1868 shortly before meeting and later marrying Maria Alexandrovna. It is possible that Alfred gave the locket to Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia upon his return from Australia in 1868 and that she in turn passed the locket on to her daughter Princess Marie.
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