Dating to c.1865-1875, this highly desirable Bohemian garnet demi-parure is a wonderful and wearable rarity!
This set consists of a pair of earrings and matching ring. What makes these jewels exceptional are the large pyrope garnet cabochons (also called "carbuncles") set in the center of each piece, and the pear-shaped stones that surround them. Most Victorian bohemian garnet jewelry only displays small, closely-packed rose-cut stones, but these are a cut above the rest! Garnet carbuncles were in fashion during the 1850s-1870s, and this represents an exceptionally early example of the bohemian garnet jewelry which would remain fashionable until the close of the 19th century.
It is probable that the pair of earrings was crafted from a grand necklace; when jewelry was inherited, it was often broken up among the daughters of the household. The Victorian lady who had these crafted had a skilled lapidary, and the set is truly lovely! The earrings measure 1 1/4" long with their original 9k gold ear wires; the garnet drop measures 1" long x 7/8" wide. The garnets are mounted in low-karat "garnet gold." The center cabochons are beautifully polished, and weigh approx. 3 carats each. These cabochons are framed with pear-shaped rose-cut garnets of good size. All of the stones are perfectly matched for color - a deep, rich "pigeon's blood" red! They are closed at the back, and boy, do they glitter in any light!
The ring is no less of a treat, and does NOT appear to be a marriage. I believe that it was original to the full parure. Currently a size 5 1/2, this ring appears to never have been re-sized, but the plainness of the rear of the shank would allow for easy re-sizing by a good lapidary for little cost. The bezel of the ring measures 7/8" long x 3/4" long, and is set with a 3 carat garnet cabochon. The ring is framed with a border of pear-shaped garnets which graduate somewhat in size at the top and bottom of the bezel; this adds interest and an extra bit of flair to the design! The ring is mounted on its 9k rose gold shank (unmarked but tested). The ring itself it a gorgeous jewel; pair them with the earrings, and you truly have something special!
Best of all, these jewels have survived over 140 years in excellent condition. All of the garnets are original and intact, without cracks or chips. The backs of the earrings have tiny traces of silver solder to the top and bottom, but this is to be expected in a conversion of this early date. The back of one earring has a tiny fleabite out of the gold foundation at the bottom, but this is not at all visible on the ear, and the garnets are securely set. The earrings weigh 6.6 grams together, and the rings weighs 4.2 grams.
Simply a superb set of Victorian jewelry, this set is wonderfully wearable, and so versatile! The earrings and ring are suitable for day or evening wear, or pair them together on that special night out! My price is a bargain; I know dealers who would ask a much higher price for the earrings alone! They will make a wonderful addition to any collection of fine Victorian or antique garnet jewelry, or a stellar gift for that special lady - garnet is the birthstone for January, and Valentine's Day will be here before you know it! Either way, do not miss this stunning demi-parure; it is priced for quick sale, and US Priority shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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