Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a fabulous festooned Georgian era 18kt. yellow gold necklace c. 1820 featuring foiled pink topaz, pearls and turquoise. The trefoil shaped centerpiece of this necklace has a wirework cannetille drop with three oval, antique cut, bezel and prong set, foiled pink topaz gemstones. The stones measure 10.5mm X 7.2mm, 7.5mm X 6.7mm, and 8mm X 7.2mm. There are an additional four bright round, bezel set cabochon cut turquoise and four bezel set natural half pearls. Suspended from the centerpiece is a tear or pear shaped drop with cannetille wire work and a pear shaped, bezel and prong set, antique cut, foiled pink topaz. The stone measures 7.8mm X 5mm. (maximum). There is an additional bright round, bezel set cabochon cut turquoise and one bezel set natural half pearl. The centerpiece is connected to a festooned gold chain which has five oval shaped "plaques" separated by three chains each. Each of these plaques has a central oval, antique cut, bezel and prong set, foiled pink topaz gemstone measuring 7.5mm X 6.3mm and four smaller oval, antique cut, bezel and prong set, foiled pink topaz gemstones each measuring about 4.2mm X 3.9mm. The plaques have four bright round, bezel set cabochon cut turquoise and four bezel set natural half pearls. The tongue closure is surmounted by an oval, antique cut, bezel and prong set, foiled pink topaz stone. It measures 8.75mm X 8.0mm. The total carat weight of the foiled pink topaz is 17 carats (prox). The pearls are 2.25mm. each. The turquoise are 1.8mm each (prox). The stones are mounted in a closed back setting typical of the era. The turquoise are mounted open backed. The centerpiece is 1-1/4" wide. The drop is 2-1/2" long from the plaque. The necklace is 15-1/2" long and could be extended if desired.
Georgian jewelers used thin foil metal sheets behind the gemstones in their jewelry pieces to enhance color and sparkle. Thus the term "foiled". Foiled and closed back jewelry is a hallmark of Georgian era jewelry. These foiled pieces sparkled dramatically in candlelight. Cannetille is similar to filigree work. It consists of fine gold wires twisted into intricate shapes, such as scrolls, coils, rosettes, or tendrils and was often used along with granulation techniques. It is sometimes called "wirework". It is almost always used with colorful gemstones in combination or separately, including amethyst, pink topaz, garnet and aquamarine. It was popular in jewelry styles in the 1820's and 1830's.
The gold content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The pink topaz were tested using a standard jeweler's gemstone tester. The pink topaz, turquoise and pearl sizes were calculated using a standard jeweler's caliper. The pearls are assumed to be natural since the piece pre-dates cultured pearls. The gemstone carat weights were calculated based on standard measurement practices. The stones were not removed from the piece to do physical testing or for weight.