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Victorian Etruscan 14 Kt. Gold, Amethyst & Cultured Pearl Pin - Pendent Circa 1875
This pin pendent is absolutely stunning with it's large amethyst, pearl accents & the textures/finish on it's gold parts. It is not an ugly, heavy one piece casting. It is a combination of multiple cast & what appears to be hand crafted parts all soldered together by the smith. This is one of my favorite styles of jewelry due to the time spent, craftsmanship & imagination of design put into a lot of the pieces of the period. The center focal point of the piece is a large, approx. 1" tall x 3/4" wide oval, faceted amethyst. It is a lovely medium color & so clean & clear I can see the pin attachment right thru it (photo # 4). It has no cracks or chips. I can with my loop find the occasional speck sized bite on a facet rim from cutting. It is firmly seated in it's mounting with a multitude of tiny prongs approx 1/20th of an inch apart. I found only one prong missing it's tip. The base of the prongs are encircled by a rope like trim & a small open work skirt with a textured surface (bottom photo # 4). The approx. top half of the mounting has been decorated with what I believe to be hand crafted (not cast) trim (photo # 3). It's artistic swirls are comprised of fine notched like rims accented with larger balls & beading (photos # 3 & 5). The smith then placed five half pearls of graduated sizes for a some what like crown above the amethyst. The pearls all appear to be original. They are a lovely well matched ivory in color & are firmly seated with prongs. Of the approx. 28 prongs a few have their tips missing-but no pearls wiggle with a stroke of my fingernail. The center of the pin has it's pin stick attached to a rectangular bar. The bar is just rims behind the amethyst. When you look thru the gem you only see three fine lines of gold-the pin & two rims-not a flat strip (photo # 4). The viewable outer edges of the rectangular mounting have a polished flat surface & rims. The smith adorned the surface of each of these edges with a green gold textured leaf & prong mounted pearl. All twelve prongs are intact but one pearl looks to be a replacement as it appears to be a full pearl not a half. It is well matched in color & just a hair & I mean a hair bigger. The base of the piece is decorated with three cast dangles (photo # 6) adorned with four half pearls. All of their prong mounting tips are intact. The pearls all look to be original to piece but the bottom one on the center dangle matches the crown in color where the other three have a very, very faint silver cast. All of the entire pin's eleven pearls are intact with no chips or cracks. The replacement of one pearl, possibly two, in a piece of this age is so unimportant & quite common. It is not noticeable unless you loop the piece for inspection as they average only 1/16" in size. The center dangle also slides off the pin allowing the owner to hang a watch (photo # 7). The gold is in excellent condition with no rips, holes, dents or repairs. The top has a swivel, fold down bale (photo # 9C) for a chain. It does fold down evenly. That clear plastic wire you see in numerous photos attached to the bale is due to the piece not having a chain. I did not remove it for the listing photos as it is made to hang on a specific display stand at our shows. The bale, from it's interior rim to it's interior brad head (photo # 9D), is approx. 3/16" in dia. It will fit a good sized chain appropriate for the size of the pin. The pin stick has a slight wave from usage & a curve by the hinge that is so well formed I feel it is original to manufacture. The hinge is in smooth working order. The clasp is a C clasp with a cover (photo # 8) to keep you from being stuck by the pin point. Now here is where I am going to do a little assuming. I don't feel the piece was repaired. I think the pin stick, hinge & pin point cover were removed for the piece to be worn as a pendent all the time with the bale ring enlarged for a bigger chain. I think they kept the original three pieces & some time later in life they were re-attached to the piece. My assumption for this is that the gold of these three parts appear to be the same in color & texture as the pin. The three tiny points of well done, professional, re-attachment have silver or white gold solder (photos # 9 A & B). We are not going to test these spots to see which metal it is as we don't want to disturb their delicate solder forms. These three spots are not noticeable when wearing the piece. You need to inspect the side & back to find them. There are no marks as is common for the period. But the piece has been acid tested in numerous spots & we guarantee it to be a minimum of 14kt. From the top of the bale to the bottom of the center dangle the piece is 2 13/16" tall. With the bale folded down it is 2 1/2". At the pin's widest point it is 1 5/8". A truly beautiful piece of Etruscan Revival jewelry in super condition. It will generate a lot of compliments for it's new owner.
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Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: gold/lavender/white, Size: XL
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Richard W. Bell Owner - Christine Clark Mgr., Orange, CA
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