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Victorian Jewelry

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Item: Description: Price:


  BANDED AGATE BEAUTY ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Banded Agate Scent Bottle Pendant ): One of my very favorite Victorian stones is Banded Agate, a variety of quartz. It can be clear or variegated with the colors arranged in layered stripes – frequently black, brown and white. This beautiful English high quality antique banded agate perfume/scent bottle is a very unusual piece. (c. 1860-80) Worn as a pendent, this bottle has been carved from a single piece of especially lovely banded agate. Beginning at the top you will see chocolate brown, translucent white, brown, opaque white, black, white and, at the bottom, translucent crystal-like formations that are lovely when held up to the light. (See translucent photo.) The reverse side is identical. It has been hollowed out to hold perfume. What a delicate procedure that must have been! From my personal collection, this scent bottle is suspended from a ring and chain. There is a hinged cap that opens with the flick of a finger exposing the opening. The gold cap and fittings are marked “9 KT” gold. Absolutely stunning quality, so unusual and wonderfully collectible. A pendent you can wear day or night and prove yourself a woman of style and confidence!

Condition: Excellent.
Size: Overall drop 3”, bottle 1 5/8” high, 1 1/4” wide, 3/8” deep.



  TRIPLE TIGER CLAW BROOCH ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Tiger Claw Brooch / Pin ): One of the many seemingly odd Victorian traits was their unending appetite for exotic jewelry from exotic places. This wonderful Antique Triple Tiger Claw Brooch (c. 1880-99) illustrates the rage for items from India. In 1876 Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India so it is not surprising that “The Great White Hunters” made their mark on fashion. Tiger Claw jewelry was frequently sent home as a memento of their hunting expertise. (At that time there was no concern that the seemingly endless supply of birds and animals would ever become endangered.) This unusual claw formation is particularly nice. A decorative wide gold band (marked 9 KT) attaches the upper two claws with sheaths extending inside of the curve of each claw ending with decorative gold tips. The third claw dangles from two gold chains and has a matching gold cap, sheath & tip. The bottom claw, suspended by chains, swings when you move. Original C clasp closure. This regal and dramatic trophy brooch is an unforgettable example of the Victorian quest for the exotic! Simply magnificent!

Condition: Excellent. A really wonderful design.
Size: Top claws 2 1/4” wide, 1/4” deep. Lower claw 1 1/4” wide as it hangs. Total height 2 1/2”.



  THE ROMAN FORUM ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Micro-Mosaic Brooch / Pin ): This splendid brooch is a fusion of the old with the new. I have had it for years and wanted to give the Victorian micro-mosaic a fresh look. The center piece is, of course, an antique depiction of the Roman Forum, referred to as “the most celebrated meeting place in the world”. Today it is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments. A popular tourist destination, the Victorian shoppers loved to take home a memento – often in the form of a micro-mosaic. I always gaze in amazement at these diminutive works of art. Made of tiny glass pieces, the minuscule shards of glass blend together to form a complex and subtle scene of great artistry. This exquisite brooch (c. 1860-70) is a perfect example of classical revival styling. I chose to have this study of architectural fragments accented by the addition of a two level scene of stylized workers. These miniature workers, executed in 14 KT gold, are at work restoring the fragmented pieces of columns, bases and cornices to their original state. I just love the result of this fusion of past and present created by a creative Master Jeweler. One of a kind – remarkable!

Condition: Excellent. Safety clasp closure. A few tiny pieces are missing.
Size: Micro-mosaic is 1 3/4” wide, 1 3/8” high, 1/4” deep. Full pin 3 1/8” high, 3” wide.



  THE FASCINATION OF GLITTERING CUT STEEL ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Cut Steel Brooch / Pin ): This glimmering Victorian Cut Steel Brooch (c. 1860-70) is made from a combination of the usual round faceted steel studs and the less common elliptically shaped steel studs. (These studs have five facets.) These latter are used to make what looks like a wreath surrounding a large 3-dimensional floral blossom. In between the “leaves” of the wreath are tiny blossoms at the top, bottom and both sides. There are multiple free swinging dangles from the bottom of the wreath ending in three bladed leaves with a small dangling blossom in the center. The backing is low grade silver, rather than the usual brass. It has a C clasp closure. Typically, these brilliant brooches were worn at the “V” décolletage of the gown or pinned to a velvet ribbon around the neck for a superb look.

Condition: Excellent. No missing studs. No rust.
Size: Total length 3”, 1 1/2” wide, 1/4” deep.



  ETERNAL GOLDEN SNAKE ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Snake Bangle / Bracelet ): A powerful symbol of love, the snake was celebrated by Victorians who followed the example set by Queen Victoria. Her passionate husband, Prince Albert, gave her many pieces of jewelry featuring the snake motif – including her engagement ring. The serpent symbolized love, eternity, rebirth, immortality and wisdom. This dainty 9 KT gold bracelet is a fine example of snake jewelry. A single serpent, complete with engraved scales, is intertwined with the curves of the tubular bangle. (c. 1880-90) It has a very secure box clamp closure with a safety chain added. You press down on the sliding clasp to open and slide it back into the slot to close. This delicate snake themed bangle is seductive and an alluring work of the jeweler's art. Elegantly simple, it is highly desirable and a great favorite with collectors. (It fits a small wrist.)

Condition: Excellent. Original box is included and is also in excellent condition.

Size: Snake is 2 1/2” long. Snake portion of bracelet is 3/8” wide. Tubular portion is 1/8” in diameter. Inner opening is 2 1/4” by 2”. When unclasp the gap adds 1 3/4” which allows fit over a woman's small-medium hand.



  HIGHLAND STAG ( Antique Victorian Scottish Jewelry Stag Brooch / Pin ): Agate jewelry owes its popularity to the unbridled enthusiasm for all things Scottish that swept England in the mid-1800's. There was an awakening interest in naturalism and a renewed fascination with Medieval Romanticism. Picturesque Scotland became the embodiment of those interests. Queen Victoria's love affair with Scotland was well publicized. Following her lead, it was not long before her loyal subjects made Scotland a major tourist attraction – and the souvenirs most desired were Scottish “Jewels”. This Sterling Silver Circular Brooch is an ornate example of a fine piece of the coveted jewelry. (c. 1870-90) The subject is a graceful mature Stag with a large rack of antlers. The British and Scots were were avid hunters and I believe this was made for a gentleman hunter to present to his lady. The Stag is caught in mid-air, backed by oak leaves and bearing a Stag's tooth at its center held by the oak leaf cluster. Agates of jasper and bloodstone provide color for the engraved outer circle. It bears the original C clasp closure. A splendid Scottish Brooch full of the character and mystery of the highlands.

Condition: Excellent. No cracked or missing stones.
Size: 2” in diameter, 1/4” deep.



  A WREATH OF HAPPINESS ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Bone Hand Brooch / Pin ): Hands were used extensively in Victorian jewelry. The message was conveyed by what the hand was holding. I have seen many of these “Hand” brooches, but never tire of their striking beauty. The workmanship on this delicate piece is exquisite – it could only have been done in Dieppe, France. The entire brooch is hand carved from bone and has a soft, silky patina. (c. 1870-90) A dainty hand clasps a wreath of lily of the valley. In the Victorian “language of flowers” the floral message reads “return to happiness, purity and humility”. Sometimes referred to as “the tears of the Virgin Mary”, these blossoms are one of the early signs that spring has returned once again. The slender fingers are carved in minute detail as they present the wreath of tiny bell-like blossoms. Notice the tiny beaded bracelet on the wrist – only a master carver could produce such precise work. The back retains the original C clasp closure. A perfect gift of love or friendship. Best of all, a timeless gift of history to give to yourself – and don't forget to pass it on!

Condition: Excellent. (Box is not included.)
Size: 1 3/4” long, 1” wide, 1/4” deep.



  ICONIC SYMBOL OF LUCK ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Niello Horseshoe Brooch / Pin ): I have recently become attracted to the silver and dark gray metallic inlay called “Niello”. This technique was usually employed to create very elegant restrained designs - often geometric patterns, stripes or squares such as illustrated in this wonderful Victorian Horseshoe Brooch. (c. 1900) Niello is an ancient Russian technique for decorating silver. The design was engraved on the silver, the engraved recesses were filled with a grayish-black alloy of silver, copper, lead and sulfur – then fired and polished smooth. Nothing has a luster like Niello or displays its ethereal glow. This iconic symbol of luck is especially extravagant with the addition of a Rose Gold wash over the front of the pin including the studs and curved triangular fitting at the base. The original pin back has a wide C clasp closure, covering the tip of the pin. Be certain to wear the horseshoe in a “up” position to ensure that the luck contained within does not spill out! This unusual version of Niello work is both sophisticated and chic. Stylish for day or night, denim or velvet – always a scene stealer!

Condition: Excellent.
Size:1 3/4” high, 1 1/2” wide, 1/8” deep.



  WINGS OF LOVE ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Angel Skin Coral Bird Brooch / Pin ): One of the main points of Victorian Romanticism to look for is the use of birds and flowers as an expression of love. Romantic messages were conveyed through an elaborate system of symbolic tokens. Birds in flight represented the “winged” soul. This glorious White Dove Pendant, made of Angel Skin Coral, carries a golden envelope around his neck – no doubt a message of love or friendship - “my love flies to you”. (c. 1880-95) Exquisitely hand-carved, this feathered messenger clearly shows every feather in perfect detail. Even the eyes gleam with tiny pink gems. The coloration of the body shades from pure white to subtle shades of the palest pink. He flies high, wings spread in ecstasy as he soars to bring his message of love. There is a safety clasp closure on the replacement pin back. The vibrancy of nature has found its most perfect expression in the timeless beauty of the delicate Victorian “love in flight” brooch.

Condition: Excellent. (Hint – pin the bird aimed slightly downward so it appears to be landing with the hanging envelope.)
Size: 1 7/8” long, 1 7/8” wide, 5/8” deep due to elevated wings.



HOW DEER TO MY HEART ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Staghorn Deer Brooch / Pin ): One glance a this majestic Victorian Brooch and you will be captivated. (c. 1850) I like to think that it is a secret glimpse of two deer (one with tiny antlers just beginning to form) captured by moonlight, as indicated by the midnight blue fabric behind the young couple. Hand carved from staghorn, this large brooch was no doubt executed by a German craftsman well known for these scenic treasures. The noble deer seem posed as if alerted by some sound in the forest. Notice the dainty legs and ears. The entire scene is enclosed by trees and carved branches. How on earth has this breathtaking marvel survived intact all of this time? The sheen and luster of the deer in moonlight seems to depict a moment frozen in time. The lavish and complex mount of broken branches is perfectly suited to frame the intimate scene we are secretly glimpsing. The carved deer portion of the brooch is a swivel mount that turns to reveal a celluloid covered compartment to hold your treasures. There is a replacement C clasp closure and a tiny ring at the top to attach a safety chain. Sure to garner plenty of attention, this brooch is a breathtaking tribute to its maker. It looks striking on all colors and is a memorable reminder of the Victorian passion for nature.

Condition: Excellent.
Size: Total brooch 2 1/2” high, 2 1/4” wide, 1/2” deep. Swivel mount 1 7/8” high, 1 3/8” wide.



THE PARTY AT GATSBY'S ( Antique Arts & Crafts / Art Deco Glass Peacock Eye Sautoir Necklace ): It was a great age of change – the war was over and young women “bright young things” bobbed their hair, roughed their knees, wore short beaded dresses and satin pumps. Everything was new, flashy and above all “Fun”. It was the era of jazz and flappers ruled. Every woman had her eye on Gatsby, but he saw only Daisy. The fashion of the day called for sautoir necklaces, a French term for a long necklace that suspends a tassel or other ornament at its end - the perfect complement for the frenetic dances of the day. This amazing antique Peacock Eye foiled glass bead Edwardian / Art Deco Necklace (c. 1910-25) has been in my personal collection for years. These brilliantly colored glass stones were hand made of blue and green foiling to resemble the center or “eye” of a peacock tail feather. The British Arts & Crafts Movement and the French Art Deco Era caught fire and burned with passion that had quite an impact on jewelry history. I love the unique iridescent shine and intense colors of the peacock eye. These pieces are in high demand and difficult to find. And when the parties were over and Daisy and the guests motored home all that was left was the light at the end of the pier, the cold water and this rare necklace. They were careless people.

Condition: Excellent
.Size: Total length 37”. Tassel hangs down 5”. Three oval beads 3/4” x 3/8”, round beads vary from 1/2” to just over 1/4” in diameter.



DANCING “POOLS OF LIGHT” ( Vintage Art Deco Jewelry Pools of Light Earrings ): Sleek and ethereal, these earrings consist of fabulous crystal orbs known as “pools of light”. It is believed that the source of these beads is the northern slope of Mount Fujiyama in Japan. They were a product of the mount when it erupted in springtime. The crystals then found their way into the stream beds where, over the years, they were polished as they journeyed over pebbles into the foothill river beds. Finally they were polished to perfection in the lapidary shops of Kofu. They possess the unusual optical quality of rotary polarization – when you look through one the image will appear to be upside down and reversed (rotated 180 degrees). Try it! Traditionally they have been treasured – especially by the Chinese who believe that good luck resides in the inner recesses of these orbs. “Pools” were never drilled because it was believed that drilling allowed the good luck to pour out of the crystal. The supply of these wonderful crystals seems to have exhausted itself in the 1930’s. These Sterling Silver Earrings from the 1920's are delightful. The crystal globes are encased in a band of silver (not drilled). A silver chain allows the “pools” to literally “dance” in your ears. A sterling silver shepherd's hook slides easily into your pierced ear. It is difficult to photograph these heavenly “pools” as they often have a grayish appearance. Against bare skin they take on a rainbow of hues. The timeless beauty of these earrings dances with the light. Highly sought-after by collectors – there will be no more mysterious “Pools of Light”. What a story you can tell to admirers!

Condition: Excellent.
Size: Hang 1 1/2” long. Orb is 5/8” in diameter.



THE REEFS FINAL SURRENDER ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Coral Brooch / Pin ): Victorians wore Coral constantly as a talisman against enchantments, witchcraft and Satan. Antique Coral pieces were very often hand-carved in clusters of leaves and blossoms. This brooch (c.1855-70) is a soft peach color that makes a beautiful statement mingled with the colors of Fall. A large full blooming flower sits at the very top. It is surrounded with delicate details of tiny floral buds, newly opening flowers and many serrate edged leaves to create an enchanted symphony of gifts from the Sea. Numerous dainty gold wire work pieces support all of the tiny floral and leaf embellishments. (Observe the work from the back.) A light and airy look is achieved by combining all of the carefully hand-carved leaves and blossoms. Unfortunately, the very delicacy of these carved pieces makes good examples of coral jewelry rare. They just haven't survived intact. Much of this type of fine coral carving work was done in Italy and could not be repeated today. This pin was part of a large estate purchased in England. The gold extended pin back has a C clasp closure. The soft radiance of coral is both feminine and flattering. The marvelous delicacy of the this brooch is certain to be admired by all.

Condition: Excellent.
Size: 2 5/8” wide, 1 1/4” high, 1/2” deep.



TRUE BLUE “POOLS OF LIGHT” ( Antique Jewelry “Pools of Light” Quartz Crystal Necklace ): Exotic and mysterious, this coin silver necklace is set with 11 fabulous quartz crystal orbs, known as “pools of light”. These are rare blue orbs – I have also seen pink and lavender orbs. Traditionally they have been treasured – especially by the Chinese who believe that good luck resides in the inner recesses of these orbs. These orbs were never drilled because it was believed that drilling allowed the good luck to pour out of the crystal. True crystals are tested by looking through them and seeing everything upside down and backwards (topsy-turvy). The supply of these wonderful crystals seems to have exhausted itself in the 1930’s. This necklace has no reversed side to it so it always lays beautifully around your neck. There is no need for a clasp – just slip it over your head. This 29” link necklace from the 1920's is a true blue delight! Each orb is caged (not drilled) in coin silver with fine silver link chain in between the orbs. This crystal jewelry is Chinese in origin, although often made for the foreign market. Alive with the vibrancy of another era, the timeless beauty of this necklace dances with light. Highly sought after by collectors, there will be no more “pools of light”. Hold these up to the light and you will be amazed!

Condition: Excellent.
Size: Necklace measures 29” long with 11 blue pools. The orbs are 14 mm (just over 1/2”) in diameter. No clasp needed.


EXOTIC FEATHERED FANTASY ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Bird Feathered Picture Brooch / Pin ): The Victorians were particularly fascinated by nature and its creatures. They loved the iridescent beauty of the birds and butterflies from the deep Amazon and included it in some of their jewelry. Unfortunately the iridescence often faded with time and light exposure, but this exotic brooch (c. 1890-1900) is the exception. Not only does this colorful 3 dimensional bird reside in a verdant fantasy setting but the bright colored iridescence of the bird, flower and the various plants remains in all its glory. We took photos lit from each quadrant to try to capture the magic of iridescence but they don't begin to show the true beauty I see as I hold this brooch in my hand. The entire 3 dimensional scene is made of feathers except for the tan bush below the bird, the shiny red center of the flower and the black shiny eye of the bird. It is all set on a glimmering Mother Of Pearl background. The picture is appropriately showcased in a relatively simple gilt gold setting covered by beveled glass. It has a C clasp pin back. I'm not sure you will ever see another feathered fantasy as beautiful and is such perfect condition as this one. I know I have not.

Condition: Excellent. Not a feather out of place.
Size: 2” high, 1 5/8” wide, 3/8” deep.



FIRST BLUSH OF INNOCENCE ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Enamel Portrait Miniature Pendant ): When you hold this little blonde, blue-eyed beauty (c 1870-80) in your hand you will find it impossible to believe that she sat for this painted enamel over 135 years ago. It looks brand new – as if she were this beautiful little girl just yesterday! Think of the great pleasure holding and viewing this picture must have given to her wealthy mother and father those many years ago. We can thank the well known Parisian photographer and artist – Mathieu Deroche – for this miracle. Deroche used a very difficult process consisting of using collodion to transfer a photograph from a glass plate to a slightly domed oval of white enamel. He then painted the black and white photo and filled in the background with vitrifiable (melt-able) pigment and then gently heated it to fix the pigment. After signing it, he covered the picture with a layer of clear enamel and fired it – preserving her perfectly for posterity. His fame spread until he was painting not only his own commissioned photographs, but those sent to him by photographers from other countries. Our little blonde angel wears a white pinafore, pink ribbons in her hair and holds a blush pink rose. You can see how beautifully Deroche's painted background sets her off. Along the right edge is the signature: “Mathieu-Deroche, Paris”. She is set in a large Sterling Silver frame with a japanned (darkened) silver bow and ribbons at the top. The ring on the back rotates so that she can either be hung from a hook or worn as a pendant. Adopt her as part of your family!

Condition: Excellent. Purchased at auction. Small chip at bottom of enamel. Barely visible. (Chain not included.)
Size: Oval is 4” high, 3 1/4” wide, 1/4” deep.



BOUQUET OF THE ANGELS ( Victorian Jewelry Antique Bone Locket ): “Flowers have their language. Theirs is an oratory that speaks in perfumed silence.” (Mrs. M.L. Rayne, 1882) The abundance of blossoms and foliage which trailed over jewelry during the peak of Victorian Romanticism was in part a result of a fashionable interest in the language of flowers. Bone was an ideal medium for expressing these floral messages. An Bone locket such as this captivating French piece could be given as a token of love or sorrow. It bears a true bone bouquet –among others a large Rose in full bloom, a Morning Glory and a sprig of Lily-of-the-Valley. Like the finest Antique Bone Lockets, this one was carved all from one piece of bone. You can follow the darker grain that runs down the center all around the piece. The raised floral motif on the front is not pegged on, but part of the same bone. The ring at the top is also part of the same piece of bone and holds a large bone bale. The overall bone grain and patina are rich and warm. Bone is flattering to all skin tones and all ages. This locket opens to the right and closes firmly. It would look outstanding on a ribbon, chain (as pictured) or bone beads. A true Victorian Treasure no collector or flower lover should be without. “Flowers are the alphabet of Angels, whereby they write on hills and fields mysterious truths.” (A Correct Dictionary of Flowers”, mid-19th Century)

Condition: Excellent. No breaks or cracks. (The chain is not included.)
Size: Locket with bale 2 1/2” long, 1 1/2” wide, 5/8” deep.


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