This is the finest Girandole I have seen. Be it book, internet, International buying trips or through the antique jewelry show circuits I frequent. It sincerely is the best...
Of all the styles of eighteenth century pendants and earrings, the girandole was probably the most desirable for night wear. Its design was classic: a central bow from which were suspended by three pear-shaped pendants. The middle pendant was usually largest. Dating back to the seventeenth century when beautiful examples were made in rose cut diamonds, the girandole remained fashionable for over a hundred years, possibly because the proportion was particularly flattering to the female face. During the eighteenth C. girandoles were produced all over Europe in every conceivable material... *
Girandole pieces were extremely popular and worn primarily as evening jewels. A very similar example of this style of jewelry can be found in my very favorite book (Georgian Jewellery 1714 ~ 1830) written by Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collins.) They state "Of all the styles of 18th Century earrings, the girandole was probably the most desirable for night wear. Its design was classic. A central bow shaped ornament from which were suspended 3 pear shaped pendants, the middle pendant usually larger than the 2 flanking it. Girandole jewelry remained popular for over 100 years and was produced all over Europe." *
This pendant was made by the esteemed Harvey & Gore Jewelers, circa 1780. Their business first opened their doors in year 1720. They are located at 1 Vigo Street, London, W. They were known for producing the finest of jewels. The original box to this pendant has their original logo, the boar. Inside of the box in black stamp reads.. 'Harvey & Gore. 1, Virgo Street, London, W. ~ AT THE BLUE BOAR WITHIN ALDGATE 1720.'
The condition is remarkable. Each and every stone was cut from fine paste by a gem cutter with an eye for perfection. I often tell my clients that antique paste is to be highly coveted. Most of my favorite treasured personal pieces contain antique paste. A gem cutter would sit one day and cut paste then the next day cut diamonds, quartz crystal, emeralds, rubies or sapphires, etc. This old paste was not stamped out by machine! Each of the 237, (yes I counted) pastes are brilliant and sparkle like diamonds.... This piece throws off a rainbow of colors when anywhere near the sun. In just a few simple photo's in natural light there was an array of red, blue, red, yellow, orange and of course diamond colors. One distinguishing factor of the Georgian Period is the shape of the stones used. Jewelry was made to suit the stones that were available, and stones were never cut specifically for a piece of jewelry. It was typical for a piece of Georgian jewelry to have many different sizes and shapes of stones within a single piece. This pendant is a perfect example. There are many different shaped and sized 'stones.' The cutting techniques we have today were not available in those times..
The top portion has a large open bail which will hold a thick ribbon, cord or heavy weight chain. Sometime after the original owner bought this piece, she brought it back to her jeweler and had him add the open c-clasp and pin so she could wear this as a brooch. Firstly, he did a gorgeous job and it looks absolutely original.. If the very top bail portion did not stand up about 3 mm's higher in that area of the box, I would not have known. When I place this in the box, the top portion does not lay totally flush. The box still closes with ease but, when closed and locked (as there are 2 swiveling locks, one on each side of the box), there is a very small gap on on both sides.... If not for that one little clue, I may never have known a pin and c-clasp had been added. If you are lucky enough to add this to your collection, I would recommend not locking the box while the pendant is inside the box. Being the box has survived 235+ years, I would not want to stress the locks. The original owner must have been quite the flashy woman as if she wore this as a brooch, one can only imagine what she wore as pendants, necklaces or earrings.. I strongly suspect she was a woman of refined, sophisticated taste and one of great means..
The top portion is closed backed. There is a lovely display of black dot pastes. There is beautiful bright cut work done in tested 9K rose gold. There is a hand decorated flower in the center and floral sprays. It is articulated under the top portion which gives it beautiful movement. All of the fine fancy collect crimped pastes below are à jour, meaning open backed setting. Of course all three of the pear shaped pendants are also articulated. A brilliant combination...
English in Origin, Circa 1780.
The materials that were used were high purity silver, 950+, 9K rose gold and paste. (Being the silver content is so high, there is no need to polish as it does not tarnish nearly as much as lower grade, such as 925 sterling by US standard.
This piece measures 3 3/4" from the top to the bottom of the longest dangle. It measures approximately 2 3/4" across 'at rest' on the neck across the 3 dangles. It weighs 29 grams exactly.
The condition is remarkable... The only apology is on the very back of the bail portion. There is one very small indentation. This will never be noticed nor does it distract in the least. Please see photo, second to last of the pendant in the box flipped face down. That is located on the right side near the bail.
When you wear this, it will be noticed and people may in fact stop you in the streets ~ Enjoy this fabulous rare museum piece ~ Questions are always welcome and encouraged.
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~ Biography of the Jewellery company ~
From the British Museum ~ Online reference: Harvey & Gore (Biographical details) Harvey & Gore (dealer/auction house; British; 1723) Also known as Harvey & Gore Address 1, Vigo Street, Regent Street, London (1820) Formerly at the Blue Boar within Aldgate (1720) Biography Firm of London jewellers established in Aldgate as Alston and Grayhurst in 1723, though older versions of their logo use the date 1720. In 1812 they became Grayhurst and Harvey and moved to 61 Strand. The firm became Harvey and Gore in 1869, during which time they were based at 126 Regent Street. They subsequently moved to 1 Vigo Street. Since 1952 several generations of the Norman family have been involved with the dealership which exhibited at many of the Grosvenor House fairs. They were based at number 4 Burlington Gardens for several years-including the period during which Mrs Hull Grundy formed the majority of her collection. Now owned by Alastair and Sally Norman, the firm is based within Richard Ogden in the Burlington Arcade. Alastair's brother Nigel, formerly of the family firm, now operates his own jewellery business from within Grays Antiques. The firm's logo includes the sign of a boar, representing the Blue Boar Inn close to the firm's original location in Aldgate. The cartouche used in the present letterhead (and illustrated on three trade cards in the museum's collection) is said to have been designed by William Hogarth. Three trade cards and a bill-head in Heal Collection. Heal,67.200 is a sheet mounted with two trade cards and a bill-head. The trade cards advertise "Harvey & Gore. 1, Vigo Street, London W. Formerly at the Blue Boar within Algate 1720. Dealers in Antique Jewellery, Old Sheffield Plate & Silver." The bill-head states "Harvey & Gore, W.E. Axford, Proprietor. Late Alston & Grayhurst, at the Blue Boar within Aldgate, 1720. Late Grayhurst & Harvey, Formerly of Strand & Regent Street. Jewellers, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths...Dealers in Antique & Second Hand Plate." Heal's annotations on mount: "Alston & Grayhurst 1720 at the Blue Boar within Aldgate. Grayhurst hardwareman, 4, within Aldgate, see Complete Guide 1777. Grayhurst & Harvey at 65 Strand 1810-1830. Harvey & Gore, Vigo St. 1870..." Heal,67.199 advertises ""Harvey & Gore. 1, Vigo Street, London W. Formerly at the Blue Boar within Algate 1720. Dealers in Antique Jewellery, Old Sheffield Plate & Silver." Heal,67.198 advertises "Formerly At the Blue Boar within Aldgate, 1723. The Old Shop Sign. Harvey & Gore beg to enclose the following articles with their best respects."
* Reference from Georgian Jewellery 1714 ~ 1830 written by Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collins. This book is fabulous and I refer to it as (My Georgian Jewelry Bible!) If you collect Georgian Jewels, I highly recommend you treat yourself to a copy..
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