Dating to c.1800, this not only one of the most intriguing Georgian jewels I have come across lately, but it is also timelessly wearable and very likely one-of-a-kind!
Measuring 1 7/8" long x 1 1/4" wide, this stunning sterling-grade silver pendant features a cast cameo of the Greek goddess Demeter in a design which would have been up-to-the-minute for the styles of the Neoclassical era! Demeter is depicted full length, holding her cornucopia of plenty in the crook of her left arm, and a sprig of greenery in her right hand. Her face is the very image of an ancient Greek statue, and her hair is tied back in a fillet with curls clustering at the base of her neck.
The Neoclassical influence is most evident in Demeter's very sheer gown; in keeping with the fashions of the late 1790s and first decade of the 19th century, the fabric of her Empire-waisted garments are very diaphanous, and her breasts are particularly emphasized! This image would not have been deemed at all "proper" by later Victorian standards, but the Georgians were much more liberal in their appreciation of the classical nude! The plaque is framed by a raised edge, and although unmarked, tests to sterling-grade silver.
The plaque retains its original 10k gold pendant bezel and frame, which is elegant in the extreme, but something of a curiosity! The hand-cut, solid gold bail is pin set, and is fitted with a silver jump ring, but I have never quite seen a finding of this type before. I have seen plaques of this superb quality set in gold and silver Georgian boxes, and it is possible that this gold-and-silver piece was once attached to such a casket, but I really do not see any signs of alteration! Perhaps this was custom-made for a daring lady of fashion? One thing is for certain; it makes a one-of-a-kind pendant with quality, grace and history to spare!
The 10k gold frame is quite substantial, and in keeping with the fashions of the day, is very minimalist. One can find similar Berlin Iron plaques bezeled in gold in reference books; this is identically framed, but here we have a silver rather than an iron plaque. I personally adore this image in silver; it really glows, and the details are still crisp after over two centuries! On reverse of the plaque, one can see the the hand-planed tool marks from the original polishing. This jewel weighs in at 11.76 grams. SIMPLY LOVELY!
This stunning Georgian goddess has come down to the 21st century in beautifully-intact condition, and looks splendid worn on either a gold or silver chain! It is the perfect size to be noticed but not to overwhelm, and is suitable for day or evening wear. If you collect the finest in Georgian jewelry, this pendant belongs in your collection! It would also make a wonderful holiday gift for any lady fond of historic fine jewelry, and will be shipped in a gift box suitable for giving or storing. Do not miss this lovely Neoclassical goddess of Plenty; she is a rarity indeed, and USPS Priority mail shipping is FREE!
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