A rare find, exquisitely designed by Bill Smith, who was a winner of the Coty award for costume jewelry design. He began his career at Richelieu in the 1960's. This piece, from the early 1970's, is really runway worthy!
The necklace is executed in yellow gold tone metal, Lucite/resin, and silky feeling tassels. The top portion of the necklace is an 18 in chain, which is done as double oval links, in a rope style. It is closed with a round jump ring. Suspended from the chain is a trio of plaques, each of which sports a Lucite/resin cabochon.
The first plaque is shaped as a half moon, made of the gold tone metal. It is 2 in wide and 1 and 1/2 in long. The plaque has two large, double circle rings, one at each corner, through which the rope necklace is threaded. The plaque is dotted with eight raised beads, running along the edge, with one placed above the cabochon. This cabochon is a lovely pale pink, bezel set, and open backed. It is 1 and 1/2 in in diameter. The bottom of this plaque attaches to the second one via two integrated rings, joined by a jump ring.
The second plaque is oval, and is 1 and 3/4 in in diameter. This one has a carnelian hued cabochon, bezel set and open backed. The edge is ringed with eight of the raised beads, evenly spaced. The second and third plaques are connected in the same fashion as noted above. The last and most prominent is done as three quarters of a circle, with a straight edge at the bottom.
The third plaque is 3 in in diameter. This cabochon is a pink coral shade and is 2 and 1/8 in in diameter. This plaque has 18 raised beads, with six larger ones interspersed with two smaller ones, in between them. From the bottom hangs a dense, flowing tassel, which is the width of the straight edge bottom. The tassel is a silvery brown color. The tassel effect is so au courant, despite this being a vintage piece.
Each of the plaques has an oval cartouche on the reverse, which reads Bill Smith in script, with Richelieu underneath. The front and reverse both have a glossy finish. On the back of the third plaque, at the bottom of the edge, is a rolled piece, to which the tassel(s) is attached. It is raised above flat surface of the plaque and has a decorative feature of a series of the half circles, being scored from top to bottom.
This spectacular necklace is in excellent vintage condition. From the top of the rope chain to the bottom of the tassel, the necklace is 17 in. This is a piece to accent your best and has the quality to become an heirloom.
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Signed Bill Smith for Richelieu Runway Necklace