January 2015 update: I have a second D-A zodiac bracelet available that I have not yet photographed. The charms are in equally lovely condition. If interested, please contact me via the 'Email Shop' button!
This sumptuous sterling and guilloche enamel zodiac bracelet by the renowned silversmith firm David-Andersen features all twelve zodiac signs in this highly collectible series. Each charm depicts the symbol for one astrology sign, rendered in a rich jewel-tone shade of translucent enamel over an engine turned background. Most of the charms use two colors of enamel, one for the background and one for the symbol. The charm for Aquarius uses three colors: black and red for the figural, with an aqua blue ground.
With the exception of Leo, which has a tiny chip in the corner by the lion's back paw, all of the charms are in near perfect condition. I have been collecting these charms for a long time and it has taken me years to assemble this bracelet with the best examples I could find.
David-Andersen made these hexagonal charms in gilded sterling silver. A mid-century advertising brochure showing pictures of the charms describes them as, "Sun signs, created by one of Norway's famous jewelers, to wear as pendants or dangle from a bracelet. The glowing enamels are hand-applied on sterling silver; the finish is 24k gold."
The backs of the charms have varying degrees of tarnish or mild wear to the finish, and are all signed in one of two ways: with the all-text `David-Andersen Norway Sterling' mark, or the mark that has the scales symbol, D-A, 925S in a circle, and Norway-Sterling on the next line. These marks have been in continuous use since at least the 1920s. Based on the quality of these charms I would date them between the 1950s and 1970s.
Each charm has its original heavy-gauge David-Andersen oval jump ring, and I have attached the charms to an 800 silver vermeil (gold-plated) bracelet that has an elegant and simple design, and is sturdy enough to be the perfect match for these large charms, which each measure 3/4" across. Starting about an inch in from the end of the bracelet, the charms are hung every other link in a manner that will allow for a beautiful drape when worn. The bracelet is 7" long with a spring ring clasp in excellent working order. The bracelet has a maker's mark that looks like `A&D'. The zodiac signs are as follows, and I have attached them to the bracelet in their astrological order, which begins in March, with the first astrological sign, Aries:
Aries (ram) March/April – a creamy white ram on a rich eggplant-purple ground
Taurus (bull) April/May – a soft yellow bull on a light green ground
Gemini (twins) May/June – dark blue twins holding hands on a light blue ground
Cancer (crab) June/July – a rusty red crayfish on a light green ground
Leo (lion) July/August – a brown lion on a light green ground
Virgo (virgin) August/September – a creamy white maiden on a rich red/orange ground
Libra (scales) September/October – orange scales on a light green ground
Scorpio (scorpion) October/November – a black scorpion on a blue ground
Sagittarius (archer) November/December – a black centaur/archer on a blue ground
Capricorn (goat) December/January – a black goat on a light green ground
Aquarius (water bearer) January/February - a kneeling black man with a red urn and loincloth on a blue ground
Pisces (fishes) February/March – two orange fish on a light green ground
The final picture will be most meaningful to collectors, and shows three versions of the Leo charm from different time periods. While the older and newer charm are not included with the bracelet, I thought it would be fun for those who love the D-A charms to see how the design has changed over the years! The Leo with the soft gray background has a lion with two shades of brown enamel and was made in the 1920s or earlier(dated by a maker's mark only used through 1925). The charm that is part of this bracelet is smooth to the touch, and is in the color combination of brown and light green that is found in mid-century advertising materials, and is dated to the 1950s/1970s when these charms were so popular. The last Leo, while having the same color combination as those from mid-century, is not smooth to the touch. The newer versions of the D-A zodiacs no longer use the amount of enamel that would bring the surface flush with the edges. I'm seeing more and more of these for sale, and while still lovely and highly collectible, the quality is not the same and I suspect they are much more recent than those that are smooth as glass. I do not know the year in which David-Andersen changed their manufacturing process.
This bracelet is a stunner, a truly luxe item, and it has been my pleasure to put it together for someone without the time to collect the charms individually, but who adores this zodiac series and has always wanted to have it in its entirety.
Layaway plan of up to six months available for this bracelet. Shipping and insurance included in the price.
Thanks for looking, and Happy Hunting!
Item ID: D-A zodiac bracelet
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