Dating to c.1760-1770, this enchanting pendant comes directly from my personal collection of Georgian jewelry, but I am trying to pare back a bit, so I am happy to present it for the first time for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Measuring 1 3/4" long x 1 1/4" wide, this is easily one of the most charming jewels to have passed through my hands in quite a while; I adore its subject as well as its exquisite detail, colorful palette, and naive charm! This jewel began its life over 250 years ago as a bracelet clasp, but was converted to the pendant you see here c.1850. The subject is a lady of fashion enjoying a visit from her vicar, but the smiles on their faces as well as their body language imply that this call might not be as innocent as it seems!
The lady sits in the foreground, and is dressed in an up-to-the-minute fashion for the 1760s; her hair is powdered and dressed low at the back of her neck, and she wears pearl earrings and a saffron-colored silk gown with lace cuffs and a lace collar. She sits before a table covered with a green cloth, and offers the vicar a pink rose from the bouquet which sits prominently in a blue and white delft vase. The young vicar stands behind the lady, and wears his hair in fashionably-powdered sausage curls. He is dressed in a black cleric's gown, with a blue collar. He holds one hand out as if to accept the rose from the lady, but where is his other hand? It appears to be encircling her waist. . . or???
The theme of the "naughty vicar" and the married lady was quite popular in mid 18th-century comedic literature and theatre, and here we have it executed in bright watercolors on a natural grained medium. I have seen a couple other renditions of this image in the past 25 years, but none so charming as this! Best of all, this painting is in excellent, intact condition after two and a half centuries, and has never been removed from its setting.
The miniature is covered by its original bowed crystal, and is set in a box-style frame of copper gilt. The frame itself is pure Rococo, with hand-engraved and applied silver cast flowers and wavy gilt ribbons! The back of the frame still retains its pierced plate for use as a bracelet clasp, but this is invisible when worn. A mid 19th-century owner added a substantial sterling silver bail at the back, allowing this jewel to be worn as a pendant, and it looks fabulous worn on a gold chain or black ribbon around the neck!
Simply an enchanting example of mid 18th-century jewelry, this pendant can be worn with anything from blue jeans to a business suit or cocktail dress. Every time I wore it, I received compliments galore! Likely French in origin, this is a rare example of a lighthearted Georgian jewel with oodles of charm, and it will make a fine addition to any collection of Georgian jewelry or wearable early miniatures. It would also make a lovely gift for any lady fond of Georgian art and humor, and will be shipped in a gift box suitable for storing or giving. Do not miss this eloquent pendant; it is priced for fast sale, and USPS Priority shipping is FREE!
Item ID: 2260
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Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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