This is an Art Deco necklace with a single pendant depicting a two-faced comedy-tragedy. The necklace is not marked but acid tests sterling. The accent stones are indented square carnelian, colored glass. The two faces were made separately and joined by a seam. I photographed the necklace without removing the patina as I like how it highlights the faces' features of the tragic and comedic faces. Both appear as just stepping from a Shakespearean play, Prospero and Falstaff perhaps. The chain and pendant were made as a single piece and are still together. The necklace is from the 1920s. This necklace amuses and entertains. The necklace is in excellent vintage condition and measures approximately 1 1/4 inches tall by 3/4 inches wide for the pendant and the necklace hangs 12 inches.
The two faces are actually ancient symbols for comedy and tragedy from Greek theatre called sock and buskin. Actors in tragic roles wore a boot called a buskin (Latin cothurnus) that elevated them above the other actors. The actors with comedic roles only wore a thin-soled shoe called a sock (from Latin soccus). Melpomene, the muse of tragedy, is often depicted holding a tragic mask and wearing buskins. Thalia, the muse of comedy, is similarly associated with the mask of comedy and comic’s socks. Some refer to the masks themselves as "Sock and Buskin."
Art Deco Silver Carnelian Comedy-Tragedy - EXTRAORDINARY Item