RARE C.1890 Spanish 18K Gold & Natural Pearl GOLD SPIKE Railroad Presentation Pin!
Welcome to ROBINS NEST MIDWEST! May I offer….
ITEM: How this item came to be in the United States, I have no idea but if you want something very rare, very special and very, very unique, then look no further!
From Spain, Seville to be more precise AND sill resting the ORIGINAL jewelry box from the number one jeweler in Seville, founded in 1890 (and STILL in business today), here's a custom made piece of Antique Victorian jewelry from Joyeria Reyes - the King's Jewelers! Made of high carat yellow gold and embellished with engraving and cream/grey/black natural pearls, may I present a pin in the form of a Gold Spike . Okay, maybe the American parlance would be Golden Spike, but however you want to call it, it has only one connotation - someone, at some time, gifted someone, male or female, with a Gold Spike to celebrate the completion of a Railway! Since the pin is from Spain, I can only ascertain that the railway in question is one in that country.
The pin I offer here is rather large - a little more so that the only other example I could find on the Internet - a tie pin that was made in 1893 and given to Thaddeus Lowe by his workers upon the opening of the Mount Lowe Incline Railway, July 4, 1893. The pin was one of Lowe’s prized possessions and was gifted to the Mount Lowe Preservation Society by Lowe’s heirs. As you can see, the design of Mr. Lowe's pin and the one I offer here is very much the same, the Spanish one being a little more ornate.
The size of the pin I offer now suggests that it was a lapel pin rather than a tie pin, but then again, perhaps a BIG gent needed a BIG tie pin. I don't think I will ever know the answer.
CONDITION: Incredibly beautiful with no dents, dings, etc. No pearls missing. There is, however, one faux pas - one side of the pin, near the top, has some roughness to the gold. I don't think it is a test mark as the pin is hallmarked in 2 places for gold content but then again, some people just don't trust printed marks. The area can be polished on a rouge wheel by a professional jeweler to diminish the roughness or erase it completely. The pin does feel like it is entirely solid and NOT hollow!
METAL CONTENT: 18K Gold
HALLMARKS: 18K in 2 places at the back of the pin.
SIZE: 2-7/8" long x 5/16" wide at the top; 1/8" wide at the bottom. Thickness of the gold at the top is 5/16" and at the bottom, 1/16".
WEIGHT: A hefty 11.3 grams!
FINAL COMMENTS: In American parlance, a Golden Spike (aka The Last Spike) is the ceremonial final spike driven by a person or persons to join the railway lines of two disparate origins at a final meeting place. The ceremony is usually finalized with the presentation of souvenirs from one party to the other - a small trinket meant to symbolize the completion of the line. And since the end of work was symbolized by a spike of gold, so too were the souvenirs!
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