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Victorian & Bone Jewelry

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Item: Description: Price:

VJ236

VOTES FOR WOMEN – SUFFRAGETTE COLORS ( Edwardian Antique Jewelry Suffragette Pendant & Chain ):As the 20th Century began, women in England and the United States were battling it out on the political front for women’s suffrage. The Suffragettes had a color code which they translated into jewelry: green, white & violet supposedly stood for “Give Women the Vote”. A more complex and accurate explanation for the colors comes from Mrs. Pethick-Lawrence, treasurer and co-author of the newspaper “Votes for Women”. She introduced the colors at a mass rally in Hyde Park in June, 1908. She explained: “Purple stands for the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of freedom and dignity…white stands for purity in private and public life… green is the color of hope and the emblem of spring.” The correct phrase is: “Votes for Women”. This rare suffragette pendant, gold bale and matching dainty chain is a lasting reminder of that important milestone that led to women gaining the right to vote. (In the U.S.A. Women won this right in 1920.) Most of these pieces were small symbols worn to let other women know that the wearer was sympathetic to the cause. This dainty pendant is 9 CT gold hallmarked “MB & Co” and is set with a large faceted Amethyst, six green faceted Peridots and a dangling freshwater Pearl. The original feminine matching gold chain still survives and is interspersed with tiny freshwater Pearls. It has a spring ring clasp. (c. 1910, English) Delicate in appearance, this petite pendant and chain are also indicative of the Edwardian taste in jewelry. Delightful to the eye and steeped in history, Suffragette jewelry pieces are scarce and highly treasured by collectors. A wonder of design in a compact space, this most delicate of jewelry pieces has so much feminine flair – don't let it get away from you!

Condition: Excellent. The matching chain is perfect.
Size: 1 1/2” long from top of bale to bottom of pearl, 15/16” wide. Chain 17 1/2”long.

SOLD!

VJ240

EXOTIC EVERLASTING LOVE ( Victorian or Mourning Antique Jet Snake Necklace ): The serpent is probably the best known and most successful motif drawn from the animal world. A popular Victorian romantic image, Prince Albert had designed Queen Victoria's betrothal ring in the form of a snake with its tail in its mouth – symbolic of everlasting love. The snake also symbolized eternity, immortality, guardian spirit and wisdom. (And you thought it was just a slimy reptile!) This remarkable hand-carved Jet Snake Necklace (c. 1870-80) comes from my personal collection and was always a show stopper when I wore it. The entire body – strung on over-the-head elastic – is carved from Jet into graduated beads or segments, each carved to suggest scales. The head is gracefully carved with two jet beads inserted as eyes. In its mouth the snake holds a suspended domed heart. A very special piece of snake motif jewelry. Luxurious in size, this is a necklace that collectors covet both for the jet and the subject matter. Regal yet simple, don't let this scarce symbolic trophy get away!

Condition: Excellent. Elastic is fine. There are some initials on the underside of the head, perhaps a previous owner? A few tiny chips on the segments (see photo) of no consequence in a pieced like this.
Size: Length from head to tail 15 1/4”. Width of segments 3/8” to 7/8”. Head & heart 1 7/8” long, 3/4” wide.

SOLD!

VJ208

SCOTTISH BLUE BEAUTIES ( Victorian Scottish Jewelry Agate Earrings ): It was Queen Victoria in the 19th Century who brought Scottish Agate Jewelry to the wider world. She and her husband, Prince Albert, purchased Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1847 as their private retreat. She encouraged and made popular the use of all things Scottish. This included the wearing of Scottish Jewelry – Scottish Agate being among the most popular. These stunningly beautiful earrings are an outstanding example. Made from Blue Montrose Agate, probably from the famous Blue Hole area (now mined out), they are topped by a piece similar in shape to the fleur-de-lis. The central stone is marquise shaped, flanked by triangular stones and with silver engraving below ending in a silver orb. The orb is in the center of two freely oval swinging loops. The larger contains three lovely striped crescent shaped agate stones and the inner smaller loop contains two. All are set in Sterling Silver with a pierced ear wire at the top. Antique Scottish Agate Earrings are quite rare finds and always very expensive, especially the scarce blues. The freely swinging loops make these unusually flattering as you move your head. An exquisite addition to any collection!

Condition: Excellent. All stones are original and flawless.
Size: Total length 1 7/8”. Agate portion 1 5/8” long, 3/4” wide, 1/4” deep.
SOLD!

VJ226

THE HUNTER IS HUNTED ( 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 15KT gold Antique Double Tiger Claw Brooch illustrates the rage for items from India. In 1876 Queen Victoria was proclaimed the Empress of India, so it is not surprising that Mogul jewelry and elaborately set tiger claws made their appearance. The “Great White Hunters” made their mark on fashion – 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 superb large double claw Antique Tiger Claw Brooch (c. 1880-90) was mounted in India in the traditional style. The size of the claws makes this brooch a real treasure. A three-dimensional gold tiger stands on a platform atop the brooch. There are decoratively engraved gold (15KT) caps with similarly decorated frontal sheaths extending down the inner edge of each claw meeting at a gold orb attaching the claws at their tips. Of special note is the presence of the two gold teardrop shaped dangles. They are often missing on these antiques. It has its 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. Some natural drying of claws. The dark dots on the edge near the tips are pins holding the claws in place.
Size: 1 3/4” wide, 2” high – including lower drop, 1/4” deep. Tiger 7/8” long.
Total height 2 1/2”.

SOLD!

VJ221

IRIDESCENT AVIARY ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Hummingbird Brooch / Pin ): The Victorians fascination with flora and fauna extended from collecting to decorating and finely to jewelry. In the case of this rare and beautiful brooch (c. 1880-90) the fauna is not just a decoration, but actually made from head of a Ruby-Topaz Hummingbird. (Breeds in the Lesser Antilles & northern tropical South America). Hummingbird Jewelry was exhibited at the London International Exhibition of 1872 by the firms of Ward & Co. and A. Boucard: “Birds and insects have been utilized and treated as personal ornaments by A. Boucard. As specimens of beautiful colour one can scarcely see anything better than this.” The hummingbird on this gold brooch has a typical gold beak added and a shining red stone eyes – probably garnets. All the feathers are iridescent with varying areas glowing depending on the direction of the light source. The top of the head is red. The breast and throat vary from orange to amber to green. The head sits on a gilt gold bar decorated with a leaf and flower. There is a C clasp closure on the back. One seldom sees a piece of Victorian naturalistic jewelry in this kind of condition. Don't let it fly away!

Condition: Excellent. Few ruffled feathers on back of head. Handle only by the bar pin. The bird is very fragile.
Size: Bar 2” long. Head extends 1” out from the center.

SOLD!

VJ222

SEA TREASURE ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Tortoiseshell Necklace & Locket ): I understand why Victorian ladies became so enamored with Tortoiseshell Jewelry. The versatility of tortoiseshell, its rich colors and the ease with which it could be worked all helped to make it one of the most popular and sought after materials to come from the sea. This piece combines a lovely necklace with the ever popular locket pendant. (c. 1860-70) The necklace is made up of 12 large Maltese Crosses, the symbol associated with the Knights of Malta, with the design based on crosses dating back to the First Crusade. The crosses are attached to each other by tortoiseshell rings with a large hook and eye closure at the back. From the bottom larger cross hangs a tortoiseshell locket. Not only are the crosses translucent, but also the locket – all demonstrating the multiple patterns of amber, gold and brown found in tortoiseshell. It was made from the Hawksbill turtle, now on the endangered species list. The locket closes firmly. It is empty but could easily hold a photo or lock of hair of a loved one. A real treasure!

Condition: Excellent. There are three fine striations along the top of the back of the locket – not visible when locket closed.
Size: Locket 1 1/2” high, 1” wide, 1/4” deep. Chain 20 1/2” long. Smaller crosses 1 1/4” long, 7/8” wide. Larger cross at bottom 1 1/2” long, 1” wide.

SOLD!

VJ203

SYMBOLS OF VICTORIA’S REIGN ( Victorian Jewelry Jet Necklace ):

“Black as Jet”
“Ah! Black as jet, but long ago
In dignity and lace,
The ladies wore around their necks
A flash of ebon grace.”

Here is a real beauty – a Whitby Jet Necklace, typically eye catching, beautiful and wearable. (c. 1880-90) Queen Victoria ruled over England, Ireland and Scotland and this wonderfully designed Antique Neck Collar features shamrocks, roses and a splendid thistle at the center. Hand carved faceted squares are set between the floral images. Notice the elaborately carved end pieces with stylized leaf motifs – and they are at the back! The collar has a replacement barrel clasp. This was probably not a morning necklace; because it was so fashionable, black jewelry was also worn by women who were not in mourning. The neck collar is made in curves so it will lie flat around your neck. (Made for a small or medium modern neck – not large.) This is a piece that will have collectors drooling because not many of these full necklaces survived intact. Jet is so easy to wear because of its light weight. Jet! Black, flashing and alive.


Condition: Excellent. A few tiny nibbles on the back, but none visible when wearing.
Size: 16” long, thistle at center is 2” wide 1 1/2" high. Faceted squares are 7/8” and 3/8” deep.
SOLD!

VJ173

ROYAL GREYHOUND ( Victorian Jewelry Greyhound Fob / Pendant ): Victorians loved their dogs – lap dogs or working dogs, sight hounds or scent hounds. Greyhounds are also known as sight hounds because they hunt by speed and sight. Royalty bet vast sums on the outcome of a day race and kept Italian greyhounds in their households. Exquisitely sculpted in Sterling Silver with a vermeil (gold wash) collar and base, a greyhound, whippet or Italian greyhound has been masterfully modeled in a sitting position. Realistically rendered, musculature and anatomy are without question that of a sight hound. He is captured turning his head as if he has just heard his name called. He has one paw lifted and his tail is charmingly wrapped around his leg. There is a ring on his engraved collar, large enough to pass a chain through. The deep reddish brown oval carnelian fob base is engraved with the name “Eugine Amphoux”. (c. 1880) The striking combination of colors – silver, gold and carnelian – is elegant and regal. Outstanding in its entirety, this antique fob/pendant is a masterpiece of the jeweler’s art. Medium to large in scale, this Victorian greyhound fob/pendant is eye catching and full of wonderful character. Won’t you please adopt this appealing greyhound and give him a “forever” home?

Condition: Excellent. No chips.
Size: 1 ½” high, oval carnelian base is 1 ½” long, 1” wide.
SOLD!

VJ144

ARTS & CRAFTS PEACOCK EYE NECKLACE ( Arts & Crafts Jewelry Peacock Eye Necklace ): This rare peacock eye bead necklace is a treasure from a recent buying trip. It is the embodiment of the Arts & Crafts Movement. (c. 1890-1920) The practitioners of the Arts & Crafts Movement were revivalists of a sort, but they re-interpreted the past. They rebelled against the excesses of Victorian ornamentation. In jewelry the intrinsic value of the materials was of secondary importance to design and workmanship. Most Arts & Crafts artisans preferred silver to gold and cabochon cut gem stones to faceted ones. These dazzling blue and green Peacock Eye irregular shaped beads are hand crafted foiled glass. Seven shimmering beads are strung together on a bronze colored foxtail chain. There are hand-tied knots on each side of the Peacock Eye beads and the necklace closure is a spring ring clasp. The bronze colored chain is an unusual, but perfect compliment, to the blue and green eyes. There is currently a huge revival of interest in the Arts & Crafts style. These “Peacock Eye” pieces are scarce and in high demand. I love their unique iridescent shine and intense colors. Wear them with denim or silk – for work or play. Condition: Excellent. The spring ring clasp may be a replacement. Size: Total length of necklace is 31 1/2”. It is long enough to wrap twice around your neck, but the full splendor of the beads is best displayed when worn long. Each Peacock Bead is approximately 5/8”. SOLD!

VJ181

CANDLELIGHT SPARKLERS ( Victorian Jewelry Cut Steel Earrings ): These large dangling Cut Steel Earrings for pierced ears are a stunning example of Victorian cut steel jewelry. (c.1860-70) Probably French in origin, these large light weight fully articulated earrings shimmer and glint from every angle – all of the free swinging parts allow for maximum glitter!. Used as an alternative for the look and impact of early cut diamonds, cut steel in jewelry became a highly refined process. Each small steel bead or stud is hand cut, faceted, polished and painstakingly riveted onto a metal (typically brass) back piece. The steel studs are densely set to provide remarkable brilliance. (Our photos can not nearly capture the true appearance.) As the light dances from one facet to another, you can imagine the sparkling effect when worn swirling at a ball. The original hook earring backs have been replaced with posts at some time in the earlier history of the elegant earrings. These beauties are certainly “eye dazzlers”! 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. Simply divine and flattering to every face, the condition of these earrings is remarkable. Picture wearing these to dinner parties or the ballet. All eyes will be on you!

Condition: Excellent. No rust. One tiny cut steel bead is missing from one of the marquise shaped dangles. No visible to the naked eye. Earring backs are newer and larger – easier to handle.

Size: 2 3/4" long from the top, 1 3/4" at widest point.
SOLD!

VJ142

RADIANT GEORGIAN GARNETS ( Georgian Jewelry Garnet & Pearl Brooch / Pin ): Shimmering deep red garnets encrust the surface of this late Georgian leaf shaped brooch. Detail is certainly key to Georgian jewelry and this c. 1820 brooch is all about detail! The entire leaf is curved and dimensional with graduated tiny pearls forming the center veins on each leaf. The tiny pearls continue up the stem of the leaf. The multi-sized garnets are all faceted to add sheer brilliance. Nature themes have been popular throughout the ages and this leaf shape is both elegant and opulent. The workmanship is extremely fine and the piece is probably English in origin. The closed back setting is silver with a light gold wash. The entire back is covered with an elaborate chased design and retains its original C clasp closure. Garnets are the January birthstone and you won’t find a lovelier brooch – the radiance and glow of garnets is incomparable. Flashes of red contrasted with the pearls makes this on of the most captivating garnet pieces that we have had the pleasure of offering. Condition: Excellent and all original. No stones missing. Size: Leaf is 2 1/4” high, 2” wide and curves 1/2” deep. SOLD!

VJ176

EXOTIC “POOLS OF LIGHT” ( Vintage Jewelry “Pools of Light” Crystal Necklace ): Exotic and mysterious, this necklace is set with 22 fabulous quartz crystal orbs, known as “pools of light”. (c. 1925) 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. 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.

This 18” silver link necklace from the ‘20’s is a true delight. The 22 rock crystal globes are covered by coin silver floral motif wraps. Fine silver links in between complete the look. It is difficult to photograph these orbs – they have a grayish appearance in photos – absorbing the light. Against one’s skin, or other hues, they take on a rainbow of guises. There is a large hook that you can easily fasten without help. It may be a replacement, but it certainly is convenient. This crystal jewelry is always Chinese in origin, although often made for the European market. Alive with the vibrancy of another era, the timeless beauty of this antique necklace dances with light. Highly sought after by collectors, there will be no more “pools of light”.

Condition: Excellent. As expected, the slightest sign of wear to the silver.
Size: 18” long, each orb is 1/2” in diameter.
SOLD!

VJ149

I GIVE YOU MY HEART ( Victorian Jewelry Sterling Snake Brooch / Pin ): This is simply one of the best Victorian snake brooches that I have ever seen. Large and finely detailed, this serpent carries a cobalt blue enamel heart in his mouth. (c. 1860-80) 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. This captivating Antique Sterling Silver Snake twists and turns in undulating loops. Every scale is deeply engraved. His beautifully formed head has bezel set garnet eyes. Unlike many of these talismans of love, this brooch still retains its original blue enamel heart, set with a tiny half pearl. In profile you can see that the snake has an open mouth. The back has a replacement C clasp closure. (There are scratch marks on the back from previous owners testing the silver.) I have not polished it since I’ve had it because I love the rich look of the scales. Grand in size, this snake brooch is a seductive and alluring work of the jeweler’s art. The essence of the 19th Century is yours to touch, hold and treasure for another lifetime. Condition: Excellent. There is a tiny pinhole at the top of the silver on the back of the heart. It does not show when wearing the brooch. Size: 3” wide, loops are 1 1/4” high & 3/8” deep. Heart is 1/2” high & wide, 1/4” deep. SOLD!

VJ143

PIQUÉ FROM THE SEA ( Victorian Jewelry Piqué Earrings ): Piqué is by definition, gold and silver decoration on tortoiseshell. Skilled artisans, using tortoiseshell as a base, carved out specific designs or shapes from metal and then inlayed them into the shell. I was fortunate to obtain these large, very beautiful silver lily-of-the-valley Victorian earrings for pierced ears. (c. 1860-80) The versatility of tortoiseshell, with its rich colors, has helped to make it one of the most popular, sought after materials to come from the sea. Its natural markings are patches of translucent sherry-gold mingled with cloudy chestnut – and they give a fascinating depth to a smooth surface. Slightly curved, these shell earrings have been inlayed with ribbons of silver along the edge and a central floral design of lily-of-the-valley. These flowers symbolize the return of happiness and, in combination with tortoiseshell, would have been suitable for half-mourning. Probably English in origin, these piqué pierced earrings are a delight to hold, touch and wear. Recently all organic materials have sky-rocketed in price due to the rising interest among collectors. Feel the pulse of the 19th Century by adding these beauties to your Victorian jewelry box. Condition: Excellent. A few light scratches – they are antique, too! The ear wires may be later replacements. The photos make one earring appear lighter than the other. This is the result of the marbleizing of the shell. They look the same color in reality. Size: Full drop is 2 1/8 long. Shell is 1 5/8” long, 1 1/2” wide with a curve of almost 1/4”. SOLD!

VJ129

SCOTTISH SYMPHONY ( Victorian Jewelry Scottish Agate Brooch ): A refined Antique Scottish Brooch is a “must have” in any collection of Victorian Jewelry. Many of these 19th Century Scottish pieces were made in response to the romantic interest in Scotland that was stimulated by the frequent visits of Queen Victoria and the writings of Sir Walter Scott. Victoria and Albert spent many relaxed and happy days at Balmoral Castle. This superbly crafted brooch is a symphony in color. Regal and elegant, the agate stones range in color from gray to rust - cut from a variety of colored jasper and striated gray agate. The Sterling Silver setting provides a cool contrast to the agate stones. The entire back of the brooch is enclosed in silver and retains its original C clasp and safety chain. Quite grand in scale, this unforgettable Scottish brooch is as wearable – and fashionable – today as it was 150 years ago. Condition: Excellent. Size: 2 5/8" high, 2 5/8" wide, almost 1/4” deep. SOLD!
 

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