This fantastic necklace, c. 1955, is incredibly versatile, as the clasp is actually a clip which allows the wearer to adjust the way it hangs on the neck. It is unmarked, but all parts test positive for 18k gold. The gold rope is solid, and the piece weighs an impressive 71.7 grams or 46 pennyweights. That is a lot of gold, and the craftsmanship is impeccable!
The necklace when laid flat measures 27" end to end. The 1/4" thick rope is 25" long, and each bell, including clapper, is 1" long. The clasp is 7/8" wide by 5/8" thick. Eleven 2.2 mm single cut diamonds set in white gold adorn the clasp. The bells each feature a rondelle containing ten single cut diamonds 2 mm in size in white gold. The foxtail clappers hold a 2.5 mm full cut round brilliant diamond, also correctly set in white gold. The bells are 1/2" wide at their widest point.
Two very similar necklaces are featured in the recent book, Set in Style, The Jewelry of Van Cleef & Arpels by Sarah D. Coffin on pages 80 and 104, both dating from the mid 1950's. The style and quality of this necklace is comparable to those by the venerable firm of VCA.
The necklace hangs like a 25" long necklace. It actually makes a slight tinkling sound, due to the bells. It is the height of style and fun!