This magnificent Art Nouveau festoon necklace captures the essential style of that period, 1895-1910, in its voluptuous curving designs, floral forms, draping chains, and use of natural green turquoise stones. I am unsure of the metal; it may be 10K gold fill. Preliminary acid testing held at 10K gold. A small faux pearl hangs from the bottom. The necklace measures 15-1/4" in length with a 2" drop.
I believe this necklace to be an early work of the American designer George Steere, whose popularity has recently soared although little is known about his life. The back of the necklace is marked simply G..S., rather than the familiar GNS or GNS & Co in a diamond-shaped lozenge.
I showed the necklace to Fran Hartke, whose magnificent George Steere collection appears on Jane Clarke's Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry website. (Be sure to have a look at it.) Fran concurred that this necklace could very well be Steere's, judging from the unmarked and variously-marked pieces in her diverse collection. A clasp similar to the one on this necklace is seen on the chain of one of her lockets displayed there.
Steere's output was limited, as he worked only between about 1906-1911, making his work rare and collectible. Please view my photos to see all the details of this splendid piece.
You may also enjoy looking at my collection of Steere jewels on Pinterest!
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