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Victorian Jewelry

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Item: Description: Price:


  THE BOUNTY OF THE SEA ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Tortoiseshell Earrings ): These dazzling designed Victorian pierced earrings are made of polished Tortoiseshell. (c. 1870-80) The Victorians were extremely fond of Tortoiseshell and used it for hair ornaments, combs, brushes, fans and small boxes – as well as jewelry! Tortoiseshell is heated, then molded, then polished. It was considered appropriate for mourning after Prince Albert's death in 1861. The really lustrous feel and light weight made it perfect for exquisitely executed earrings. A free swinging oval of translucent Tortoiseshell provides the showcase for the decorative center design elements. Sleek and chic, the deep natural tone of the chocolate shell is a mix of gold, amber and all shades of brown that provide the coloration of the true tortoiseshell itself. These earring – over 100 years old – appear perfectly modern today. Because of its association with half-mourning as decreed by Queen Victoria ended with her death, fashionable ladies rejected all dark colors in favor of silver and light colored stones which emerged as the Edwardian styles took the stage. These fanciful and feminine earrings that so captured the essence of the 19th Century – were never to be seen again.

Condition: Excellent. Rare design. Gold posts for pierced ears.
Size: The large oval is 1 3/4” long, 1 1/2” wide. In center 5/8” oval and 1” carved classical ornaments ending in circular orbs.



  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.



  FLORAL FANTASY ( Vintage Jewelry Hand Carved Bone Stretch Bracelet ): This intricately hand-carved bone stretch bracelet is a lovely piece of vintage jewelry which looks like it is made of Ivory. (c. 1920-40) It features 6 highly detailed carved panels and a very large, exquisitely carved centerpiece of delicate flowers in full bloom, floral buds, leaves and vines. (Probably carved in India – not French or German.) The six narrower panels taper gently to the back and all are an evenly shaded ivory color. The elastic allows this beauty to stretch to fit a small to medium wrist. (Not for large wrists.) A wonderful bracelet that would definitely be a prized addition to any collection.

Condition: Excellent. No breakage.
Size: The centerpiece is 2” high, 1 1/2” wide, 1/4” deep. The side panels are approximately 3/4” to 1” wide, 1/4” deep.



  RAJ TIGER CLAW EARRINGS ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Raj Tiger Claw Earrings ): The period of English rule in India became known as the British Raj. All manner of jewelry was produced in India and marketed to the British. This pair of Tiger Claw Earrings (c. 1850-70) are encased in 9 KT Gold jackets, each tip ending in a round gold orb. The claws are suspended from shepard's hook ear wires. Collectors have made these Victorian Indian claws all the rage in fashion again! Much rarer than claw pins, these dainty mementos are an unforgettable example of the Victorian quest for the exotic.

Condition: Excellent.
Size: Claws are 1” long, 1/2” wide at the top.



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.


THE DELICATE ROMANCE OF SEED PEARLS ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Seed Pearl Pendant ): The lace-like appearance of “seed pearl” jewelry was most appropriate and fashionable as bridal gifts. Often associated with romance or purity, these pearls were also representative of tears and occasionally used in mourning jewelry. I was so lucky to find this stunning Antique Seed Pearl Pendant. (c. 1840-60) Jewelers typically used seed pearls imported from China and India. The tiny pearls were strung on silk or white horsehair and then attached by hand to a mother-of-pearl backing drilled for that purpose. Tiny hands and good eyesight were required! As to dating antique pieces, author Jeanenne Bell explains, “Because seed pearl jewelry was continued in the same manner for over a hundred years, the main clue for circa-dating comes from the style and scale of the piece.” This magnificent hand worked seed pearl pendant is a rare treasure and a joy to wear. Designed as a two tier piece, the bottom layer of rich ornamentation features tiny pearl scallops with large pearls in a pointed motif. The top layer is raised 3/8” above the bottom and features a dazzling array of tiny, medium and large pearls giving the appearance of a floral image. The large pearl encrusted bale will hold a nice sized chain or ribbon. (Be certain to look at the close up photo of the back and appreciate the complex handwork shown there.) The height of femininity, delicately crafted, this exquisite pendant will be a timeless centerpiece of your collection. (Mrs. Lincoln often wore a set of seed pearl jewelry.) Dazzle your friends with this triumph of Victorian style.

Condition: Excellent. (Chain not included.) Two tiny pearls are missing. (For the appropriate handling and care of a delicate piece like this pendant, put it on after you apply any perfumes or lotions. Refrain from touching the pearls while wearing or the acids from your hands will be detrimental to their longevity.)
Size: 2 3/4” long including bale, 1 3/4" wide, 1 1/4" high, 3/8” deep.



REMARKABLE JET JEWELS ( Victorian Jewelry Antique Whitby Jet Earrings ): Considering that many Victorian women wore black for most of their lives, it is not surprising that they would want to enhance their “toilet” with a bit of fashionable elegance. Because it was fashionable, black jewelry was also worn by women who were not in mourning. Jewels of jet were the first choice for ladies of social standing. This superb pair of elaborately carved Whitby Jet earrings is a perfect example of sophisticated, fashionable jet jewelry. (c. 1860-70) Long drops of jet have been deeply hand carved all the way around, accompanied by fully round carved rosettes at the top. (Please look at close-ups to appreciate the elegant carving.) The earring caps and ear wires are 9 CT gold. (The hooks look silver in photos, but are really gold colored.) Black, flashing and alive, these “earbobs” shimmer and glint as they dance next to your face. Captivate your audience with these remarkable carved jet earrings.

Condition: Excellent. Superior hand carving. No chips.
Size: From top of the jet rosettes 2 3/4” long, 5/8” in diameter.



TIMELESS AGATE & CRYSTAL LOCKET ( Victorian Antique Agate Jewelry Locket ): One of my favorite Victorian stones is banded agate, a variety of quartz. In this impressive Victorian locket the agate has been cut to display a perfect Bull's Eye – the center a black oval revealing bands of white and very dark brown beneath the central black target. (c. 1860-80) The locket and bale are 9 CT gold. Around the sides of the locket are seven bezel set round clear crystals. Known in antiquity as “ice of eternity”, rock crystal has long been used for ornamental purposes. The back of this lovely locket has a removable glass covered oval with a piece of wine fabric revealed. You may place inside a memento of your choosing, a photograph or a small lock of hair to combine the past and present in the perfect timeless expression of love. It may also be used as a striking mourning or sentimental locket. A remarkable and captivating locket representing the Grand Period of Victorian Jewelry.

Condition: Excellent. Glass covered back pops out easily. Chain not included.
Size: Locket and bale: 1 3/4” long, 1 1/4” wide, 1/2” deep. Glass cover 1 1/8” high, 7/8” wide.



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.



BRILLIANT BOWS ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Cut Steel Earrings ): These Victorian Bow-Shaped Cut Steel Earrings (c. 1850-60) are really stunners, produced in the Victorian revival of cut steel jewelry. Probably French in origin, these large light weight fully articulated earrings shimmer and glint from every angle. The large bow knot on each earring is actually curved in shape and the central “ribbon” is 3-dimensional with an opening between bow and ribbon. The bows dangle from heart shaped tops with an ear posts and studs on the back. There is a slightly larger inverted heart dangling from each bow with a “blossom” below that. Both the bow and the dangle are free swinging. They have the typical brass backing. We often think of steel being durable – in actuality cut steel did not often survive the centuries and earring of this material are extremely difficult to obtain. Naturally this has made them highly prized by collectors. Cut Steel catches the light like diamonds and in the candlelight of evening sparkled even more so. All eyes will be on you – very romantic!

Condition: Excellent. No missing studs. No rust.
Size: 2 1/2” high, 2” wide, 1/2” deep.



RAPHAEL'S CELESTIAL CHERUB ( Victorian Antique Bone Jewelry Cherub Brooch / Pin ): In Victorian times, when Heaven was only a heartbeat away for so many – young and old, the two famous Vatican Cherubs painted by the Italian Renaissance painter, Raphael, in his “Sistine Madonna” (1512) were favored subjects for jewelry artists. The Celestial Cherubs have there arms resting on the bottom edge of the painting and both are gazing upward towards Mary and baby Jesus. This Bone Brooch depicts the Cherub on the left with his chin resting on his hand. I have had miniatures and enamels of him, but this is the first Antique Bone depiction I've discovered. It was carved by a master carver in Dieppe, France around 1870. The detail of this miniature masterpiece is quite remarkable. Even more remarkable is that it has survived over 140 years in perfect condition. It has its original C clasp pin back. I am including the antique jewelry box it came in. The pin fits nicely into the pin groove in the blue velvet base and the brooch is held firmly, yet gently, by the padded silk top. Make sure you capture this Cherub!

Condition: Excellent. No broken tips. Box included.
Size: 2” wide, 1 7/8” high, 3/16” 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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