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An Intricate Antique Victorian Seed Pearl Necklace
A delicate, beautiful, and intricate seed pearl necklace, mounted on four mother of pearl foundations and tied with horse hair, as is typical of how seed pearls jewelry were made. The necklace measures 16 inches. As can be seen on the photos, each mother of pearl panel is adorned with multiple layers of seed pearls. In good to very good condition, except that the seed pearls forming the connectors that connect the necklace to the center medallion have been re-strung at my request as they came loose, and minor blemish on two pearls connecting to the bottom medallion as seen on the photo.
The clasp is stamped "Sterling" and may have been added later. The "chain" part of the necklace, along with the "chain" that connects the medallions are made of slightly bigger seed pearls and slightly whiter than those in each medallion. We are uncertain wether the "chain" were added or re-strung later. The seed pearls from the medallions are more even, slightly smaller and slightly darker which we conclude to be possibly late Georgian Early Victorian, but could also be all from the Victorian period.
ABOUT SEED PEARL JEWELRY Seed pearl jewelry first became popular in Europe in the last quarter of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century during the Georgian period. Its popularity reached a climax during the Victorian period that extended between 1837-1860. Burgeoning middle class in Europe and the US were attracted to the delicate, almost lace-like pieces of seed pearl jewelry. Seed pearls have been associated with purity and innocence and was often a gift to a girl on her 18th birthday or to a bride on her wedding day.
Seed pearl jewelry was first introduced in the U.S. from Europe in the 1830s. All seed pearls used in the designing of seed pearl jewelry in Europe and United States were imported from China or India. Such pearls were already drilled and strung into strands or bunches. Horsehair obtained from a living horse was used in stringing pearls. The individuals who were employed in seed pearl work were usually of German or German origin as they had already been exposed to such type of work in Germany. As one can imagine, the work was difficult and needed clear daylight to see the tiny holes in the small pearls, and the mother of pearl shells used as backings.
Gender: Female, Age Group: Adult, Color: white, Size: 16 inches
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