Dating to the last quarter of the 17th century, this highly important and simply gorgeous cross and bow pendant is significant for its beauty, intrinsic value, and incredible history!
Crafted in 22k gold set with glittering rose-cut diamonds, this spectacular jewel was made in the Netherlands, and is a classic example of 17th-century devotional jewelry at its finest! This superb jewel measures 2 1/2" long x 1 5/8" wide. The motif is a cross and bow, all set with dazzling Golconda-mined rose-cut diamonds! The gold is unmarked, but tests to 22k.
The Dutch were world famous as master goldsmiths and diamond cutters throughout the 17th century, and this jewel is nothing short of a masterpiece! The pendant is wrought with two segments - the cross at the top, with a Sevigne-shaped bow and rosette at the bottom. The center of the cross is set with a white, bright rose-cut diamond weighing approx. 1/4 carat. The four terminals of the cross are set with rose-cut diamonds mounted in tall, slightly cone-shaped bezels, and weigh approx. 5 points each.
In between the arms of the cross, golden cut-work rays take the form of scrolls, which hold three diamond "sparks" of 1 point each, for a total of 12 small stones. The bottom bow-motif drop is a stunning pendolique-style jewel in itself, set with two lasque-cut diamonds of approx. 3-4 points, and 13 tiny diamond "sparks." The larger diamonds are also set in individual cone-shaped bezels. That adds up to 32 diamonds with a total weight of over 3/4 carat, set in solid 22k gold!
This pendant also features the skilled gold piercing and and engraving which sets 17th-century Dutch jewelry above the rest - the intricate vines and and open-work would have been hand-sawn, and it took great skill not to cut through the gold foundation of the pendant. The back of the pendant is engraved with lovely floral-motif accents, and retains its original loop for threading on a gold chain or velvet ribbon. SIMPLY AMAZING!
This jewel would have been the pride and joy of a late 17th-century Dutch lady of wealth and fashion, and it is just as wearable today after over 325 years! (For a published reference, see the last photo of a jewel of similar design and date and of identical construction. This photo is taken from "A Sparkling Age: 17th Century Diamond Jewellery," Antwerp, 1993, p. 186.)
Weighing in at 9.7 grams, this pendant can also be worn as a brooch; at some time during the last century, a previous owner added a pin back with a safety catch for added versatility. The only sign of wear to this jewel is a loss of one minuscule diamond spark (100% invisible to the eye and mentioned chiefly for accuracy), and small patch of silver solder which indicates that the drop has been re-attached, but this is a very early repair. One would not expect a pendant of this great age to have survived into the 21st century without some signs of gentle wear, but this does not detract from the appearance nor the value of this precious jewel, and I have taken it into consideration when setting my price.
Simply put, this Dutch treasure is magnificently wearable; it will make you feel like royalty! It will make an investment-worthy addition to any collection of important devotional or pre-Georgian jewelry, or the gift of a lifetime for that special lady - can't you imagine the look of pure joy on her face when she finds this under the tree? Perhaps best of all, this is the sort of jewel that is 100% recession-proof; it will only increase in value over the generations! As with all of my jewelry pre-dating 1700, this pendant will be come with a COA and valuation for your insurance purposes, and will arrive in a gift box suitable for storing or giving. Do not miss this rarity; up to 120-day layaway is available, and that's the max!
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