Dating to c.1825-1835, this late-Georgian amethyst paste and pinchbeck cross pendant is an exquisite example of pre-Victorian jewelry!
Measuring a grand 3" long with its pendant bail x 2 1/4" long, this gorgeous jewel epitomizes all that is so wonderful about jewelry of the early Romantic era! Each arm of this sumptuous cross is set with four sparkling, pear-shaped amethyst pastes in gently graduated sizes; the top gem weighs approx. 8 "carats," the two side gems weigh approx. 9 "carats" each, and the bottom gem weighs approx. 11 "carats." Collectors of Georgian-era paste know that amethyst was the most successfully-imitated stone for both clarity and color; these are a rich, deeply saturated violet which rivals the color of the finest genuine Siberian gemstones! These pastes are also expertly hand-faceted for maximum sparkle!
The four gems are set in open-backed collets with dozens of floret-shaped claws securely holding each stone. The frame of the cross is a fantasy of deeply-engraved acanthus leaves and beadwork cast in pinchbeck and finished by hand in the style so popular during the decade. The center of the cross is pin-set with a domed and engraved Rose of Sharon which gives even more dimension to this already-impressive jewel! SO LOVELY!
Pinchbeck was the preferred gold substitute of choice from the 1740s-1840; it is a specific alloy of brass and zinc which has both the appearance and weight of 20k gold, and tends to have a semi-matte finish. Unlike the copper-gilt jewelry of this era, it does not show excess tarnish, and is very hard-wearing. Its recipe was a closely-guarded secret among producers of pinchbeck jewelry in the 18th- and early 19th-centuries. In 1840, the much less labor-intensive electroplating process was invented, and pinchbeck ceased production. Genuine pinchbeck jewelry has become coveted by knowledgeable collectors of early jewelry, and this stunning cross is an exceptional and investment-worthy example as a well as highly-wearable jewel!
Weighing in at 15.57 grams, this pendant has survived into the 21st century in as fine a condition as one could hope for; it is gorgeous and all-original, with no chips or facet wear to the sparkling violet pastes. Worn on a medium-weight gold chain or a black ribbon, this cross is as lovely today as when it graced the neck of a fashionable lady over 175 years ago, and is heirloom-worthy! Suitable for day or evening wear, this beautiful cross will become a favorite statement piece, and will take you from the office to the theater in high style!
If you collect the very finest in Georgian jewelry, this cross belongs around your neck and in your collection! It would also make a wonderful gift for any lady who loves the best in historic devotional jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box suitable for giving or storing. Do not miss this extra-special cross pendant; it is priced to sell, and USPS Priority shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
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