Finift Oval Locket. An elegant vintage floral oval enamel locket in an elaborate filigree setting. Locket is hinged and opens as shown. Beautifully painted details on both sides. Yaroslavl region. 1980's. 1¼" x ⅞". Gift boxed. A 20" (a $12 value) genuine silver chain is included. 1 only.
Painting on enamel appeared in Rostov Veliky (125 miles northwest of Moscow) in the 18th century. The Veliky (i.e., The Great) appended to the town is to distinguish it from Rostov-on-the-Don, which is about 500 miles south of Moscow, and to indicate that it's the older of the two towns. First mentioned in 862 in the Primary Chronicle, and two centuries later joined by Rurik to his Kingdom, it became the seat of the Church.
In the early 20th century, local artisans began creating miniatures on enamel with colorful floral patterns and put into filigree settings and frames. Finift (финифть) painting has many layers and each layer is fired. Finift comes from the Greek “fingitis,” which means, “gleaming.”