This absolutely extraordinary necklace speaks to all the fine detail and elegance for which the Miriam Haskell name is renowned. It has wonderfully elegant blood red beads and amazing detail.
It features four strands of exquisite beads on either side of an enormous central arrangement of garnet-red beads, faux tear-drop pearls, and minuscule faux seed-pearls with a blood red faceted Lucite stone at its center.
Each strand is comprised of garnet-red beads in various sizes and styles as well as remarkable spacers featuring channel set rhinestones. They connect with custom, filigreed plates with an extender chain of linked beads, and bead-embellished hook on the other.
Unlike most Miriam Haskell jewelry which typically utilizes gold-tone brasses, this piece features her silver plated process over brass. She called it "Russian silver" which was a dark antiqued silver.
In the mid-40's, she used the Unida Plating Company of Providence The hook is stamped "Miriam Haskell", and the traditional Miriam Haskell stamped hallmark oval plate is attached to the reverse of the central pendant.
There are places in high friction areas like the plate, edges, and the hook where the silver plating has worn showing the brass base.
If you know your Miriam, in Cathy Gordon's book 'Miriam Haskell Jewelry' you will see on page 54, a silver metal brooch that shows the brass base wearing through the silver plate. She did use BOTH the silver plate metals along with gilded brass. She also used silver plate pieces with brass wiring. You can see examples of these items on page 54, 56, 48, and 166.
Cathy Gordon's book is a great educational reference for anyone interested in Miriam Haskell jewelry.
Miriam used both silver metal, and silver plated brass. The silver plate is not sterling, but a metal plate only. Unida used top secret methods to produce the plated and dipped pieces in both the brass and silver. The silvertone metal was called Nasturtium Antique silvertone.
The photos show areas of what appears to be more brass than is actually on the piece. These are shadows.
The necklace is in great vintage condition, exhibiting only some very minor verdigris on the back and a few hard-to-notice cracks in a couple of the garnet colored beads.
The 8 round garnet colored beads on the chain closest to the pendant exhibit some cracking. The one round garnet colored bead on the left side (looking at the piece) making up the chain closest to the pendant has a chip out of it.
There are subtle cracks on those particular garnet rounds in a few of the other round garnet colored beads throughout the necklace. These small cracks are very hard to see, and do not detract from the total effect of this stunning piece. There are no missing pearls and the wrapping is tight.
This is a difficult piece to describe. It is truly amazing and an over the top statement piece. Rest assured, you will get lots of attention and compliments when wearing this beauty.
This is a rarely seen opulent necklace fit for a queen.
If you have questions about the authenticity of this piece, you may want to get Cathy Gordon's book for research because it is full of good educational information, or e-mail our shop for more information.
Measurements: Each strand measures 6 ¾" Central pendant: 3 ¾" tall, 3" wide Total length from end to end: 19"