A beautifully crafted Georgian necklace comprised of three chains of different colored gold links, painstakingly hand crafted in various shapes, with delicate etching and enameling. The chains are swagged to catch the three enameled plaques.
Because the featured center strand of flower shaped links on this necklace are nearly identical to one on the necklace gifted by George III when he was Prince of Wales - to the Quaker girl Hannah Lightfoot, it is likely this was made by the same jeweler. The plaques differ of course and usually represented the birth of each child. There is a historically documented and interesting story attached to that necklace. Titled "Hannah and the King". That necklace is pictured in the section on Carnal Love and the story follows. Were it not for a negotiation between the King and his eldest child from that arrangement, the British Royal Throne could well be entirely different today! (Pg 155 of Ginny Redington Dawes and Olivia Collings' book, Georgian Jewellery 1714 - 1830.)
A favored style in the late 18th century, these were mainly crafted in France and named Colliere d'Esclavage (slave necklace.) They were costly and usually gifted only by men of great means to their betrothed. Such necklaces were discussed in The Lady’s Magazine, in June of 1790, explaining that in so naming them, the French alluded not to the common idea of enslavement, but rather to “the natural bondage in which beauty holds mankind”.
Closing at 14 inches, there are simple "o" rings on either side of the clasp kept in place by vertical elongated links so there may be an opportunity to add more "o" links within that enclosed area to add to the wearable length.
CONDITION: Very Good.
In overall remarkably fine condition with just the expected fading of some of the enameled links and minor losses to the elaborate enameling on the oval discs. The discs were soldered into their oval frames by what we refer to today as "Plumbers' Solder" and no effort was made to hide this fact. It remains there until today! I've seen but a few of these - and it appears to be typical of how they inserted the enameled plaques. The Gold chains remain sturdy and are all intact and the clasp opens and closes as it should on a hidden tongue and groove with an additional safety chain. There are typically no markings. These wonderful pieces very rarely come to the Marketplace. Most are held in private collections and by Museums and Galleries. Mid 18th Century, of French (probably Normandy) origin.
An independent gemological appraisal will be provided for this piece.
Our fine gold jewelry is always beautifully presented and shipped at no charge to our clients. (Unfortunately we do not have the original box for this.)
An exquisite example - and an exceptional find!
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