Dating to c.1780-1800, this magnificent pendant/brooch comes directly from my private collection of fine Georgian jewelry, but my rule is "if I haven't worn it in two years, up it goes," so I am thrilled to present it for the first time for the consideration of my Ruby Lane clientele!
Measuring 2 7/8" long x 1 1/2" wide, this jewel is an exquisite example of early Austro-Hungarian jewelry, and is gorgeously wearable after well over two centuries! Wrought from .850 grade silver with fire gilding, this regal beauty can be worn as a pendant or a brooch, and is set with superbly-colored Persian turquoise cabochons and deep red pyrope garnets (illegible maker's mark on bottom of first bail; tested)! The combination of garnets and turquoise was very popular at the end of the 18th-century, and this gorgeous filigree jewel sets these gemstones off beautifully!
This style of this jewel is very like those found in 17th-century Western European jewelry; the Austro-Hungarians favored early Baroque design, and one can see this influence in Eastern European jewelry straight through to the last quarter of the 19th century. This delightful pendeloque pendant/brooch can be dated to the last two decades of the 18th-century by the presence of the original slide findings on the reverse, the plain, pillow-shaped backs of the settings, and the lack of hallmarks from the country of origin.
This jewel is comprised of three segments, and glows with is set with Persian turquoise cabochons and glittering, foil-backed garnets set against a fantasy of silver gilt filigree work! The top segment boasts five Persian turquoise cabochons in a cross motif; the center gem measures 8 mm x 5 mm, and the smaller stones average 5 mm x 3 mm each. The turquoises are set in tall mountings of silver gilt, with knife-edging around the collets. Nesting among the turquoises are seven faceted garnets measuring 3 mm (approx. 5-6 points each), and two larger, navette-shaped garnets measuring 9 mm x 4 mm, each weighing approx. 35 points.
The second segment carries the motif with one Persian turquoise cabochon measuring 5 mm in diameter, and two additional navette-shaped garnets which are ever-so-slightly larger than those above, and weigh approx. 38 points each. The bottom drop, set with a Persian turquoise measuring 8 mm x 4 mm and a round 3 mm garnet, completes this delectable jewel! All of the gemstones are set in closed-backed collets of silver gilt, and the garnets are all foiled at the back.
The back of this brooch retains its silver slides, and sometime c.1820, a sturdy silver pin was added so that the pendant could also be worn as a brooch. This early conversion was very expertly performed, and there is no solder or residue present at the terminals of the "T and C" clasp. The addition of the clasp only adds versatility to this historic jewel; wear it around your neck with a ribbon or fine silver chain through the slides in the original manner, or pin it on a lapel or a sweater! Either way, it will light up anything you wear it with! The back of the brooch is also stamped with the initials "W.B.;" this mark is likely the initials of the original owner. SO RARE!
Best of all, this pendant brooch has made it into the 21st century in as fine a condition as the most discerning collector could wish for. Twenty of the of the 21 gemstones are original (one garnet has been replaced with a flat-cut garnet, only visible under 5x magnification), and the intricate, hand-wrought filigree is completely intact after 200 years! The only visible sign of wear is a crack through the center of one of the tiny garnets on the top segment; this stone is stable and not at all noticeable when worn, and is considered perfectly acceptable in a jewel of this great age. The silver gilding has built up an untouched patina front and back, and this piece should NOT be cleaned, as its surface is a testament to its considerable history, and would devalue this investment-worthy jewel, which weighs in at 16.09 grams.
Simply a stellar example of early Eastern European jewelry, this pendant/brooch will make an heirloom-worthy addition to any collection, or a thrilling holiday gift for any lady who loves the best in Austro-Hungarian or Georgian jewels. It will be shipped in a gift box suitable for storing or giving. Do not miss this incredible rarity; up to 60-day layaway is available, and FREE USPS Priority shipping is MY gift to you! Happy Holidays!
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