AEI Victorian sentimental mourning lockets

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Eternal Love
Having spent some time delving into the meaning of AEI and some fruitless google searches I thought I would share my eventual findings.  I hasten to add no definitive answer so if you have a theory or better still proof let me know!  AEI, appears in various forms predominantly on photo or hair lockets.  The picture illustrates quite a complex entwined example with something of a celtic feel, I have read that these letter art pieces were inspired by Japanese art  though this was without reference and I would argue that this particular design is clearly Celtic in inspiration and as such in keeping with a popular Victorian "trend".

Some define the letters as of Latin origin and Affinity,Eternity, Infinity or Amity, Eternity, Infinity.   In other words -- the love that I have for you will last through all eternity and into infinity, or I will love you forever and ever.  

It is also believed by some that these initials originate from the Greek, translating as “for now and forever”, (aei, aiei or aion).  

I would suggest in line with both and the fabulously morbid nature of Victorian sentimental pieces whatever the origin the meaning becomes more pertinent if you consider Latin infinity and the Greek aion as something which continues even beyond death, "I will love you beyond the grave", thus making these lockets true mourning pieces and very much in line with Queen Victoria herself.
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