It is New Years Eve 2015. You will be at a party to ring in the new year. Everyone else is wearing the obligatory black dress with the expected fashion necklace of the season. But not you. You arrive at this gala in silky grey satin highlighted by a unique antique necklace worthy of the occasion!
This sparkling confection boasts solid gold and silver hand made settings with milgrain edges. The construction is perfection- even the underside is handsome! The clasp is custom on this piece. The style of the clasp, a barrel with a cotter pin closure, also helps to date this piece as an antique. I feel that the target shaped parts may have been matching earrings which were later incorporated into the necklace. It is possible that the owner at the time, probably in the 1920's or thereafter, did not have pieced ears. Since they could not be easily converted to screw backs, they were put into the necklace. If you would be interested in having this converted to earrings and necklace my jeweler could do it. Judging by its clasp and settings, I date it circa 1900. The faux tear drop pearl at the bottom has two hairline cracks running vertically down the back side of the pearl which are difficult to see and do not affect its stability. Only one of the hand cut paste stones was replaced. The stones have small, high tables as one would expect from an antique. They are in closed back settings. They should not be confused with later rhinestones which have foil attached to them. These stones sparkle without the aid of foil backing. They were hand cut and also hand set. The settings set the jewelry of this era apart from later mass produced pieces. Today you would expect diamonds in settings as nice as this- but instead you see diamonds in settings inferior to these.
This year, why not create your own Belle Epoque and start the new year wearing this antique treasure!