What did medieval lockets hold?

Lockets were very popular in the Victorian Period. They often contained a picture of a loved one or a lock of hair.

I was unaware that there were lockets in the medieval world. In the same museum where I saw a stole woven by Eleanor of Aquitaine, I saw lockets from the twelfth century. They were intriguing. They didn’t seem to be the sort worn around the neck on a chain. Instead they were small boxes with locks and they were called “lockets.” Were they for saintly relics or for poisons to be only be used in dire straits?

One was in the shape of a heart. Did it once contain a love potion? I’d rather think it contained a lock of a beloved hair. Perhaps DNA will someday give us the answer.

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About medievalphyllis

I love history and I love writing. I've been working on an historical novel about a medieval viscountess, Ermengarde of Narbonne since 2009. It has been quite a journey and the journey isn't over. Previously I written 6 historical novels for kids, but this is a new challenge.
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