This is a very rare item.
In over 50 years of collecting and tours of all the most famous jewelry collections in the world, I have only ever seen 4, one being in the Victoria and Albert Museum famed jewelry collection in London (shown on the cover of Shirley Bury's book, "Sentimental Jewellery").
It is a charm pendant, late Georgian, circa 1810-1820, made of 15 carat gold with 7 charms depicting the ages of man. It measures almost 2 inches from the bail to the lowest charm drop and 1.3 inches across.
"All The World's A Stage" is the most famous Shakespearean monologue from the play "As You Like It", spoken by a sad Jacques in Act II Scene VII.
The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and catalogues the seven stages of a man's life, sometimes referred to as the seven ages of man: Infant, Schoolboy, Lover, Soldier, Justice, Pantalone and Old Age, facing imminent death. It is one of Shakespeare's most frequently quoted passages.
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
The seven charms on this pendant represent the seven ages:
a cradle for the infant,
a tassel for the schoolboy,
a cannon for the soldier,
a bow and quiver of arrows for the lover,
a sword for justice,
a staff for the aged pantaloons,
glasses for old age, sans eyes
If you collect Georgian jewelry or charms, this is a must for you! You will likely never find another one.
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