Victorian & Ivory Jewelry
Layaway Available for Purchases of $200.00 or More
|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.
|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.
|SYMBOLS OF VICTORIA’S REIGN ( Victorian Jewelry Jet Necklace ):
“Ah! Black as jet, but long ago
In dignity and lace,
The ladies wore around their necks
A flash of ebon grace.”
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.
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.
|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!|
THE HUNTER AND THE HUNTED ( 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 9KT 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 double sided figural of a lion is seated with his paw
on a golden orb – no doubt representing England’s rule over much of the
world. The filigree work is very fine and the saw-tooth cover on the
inside of the claws indicates a Victorian Tiger Claw Brooch that is
superior in all ways. There is a C clasp closure. The regal and dramatic
trophy brooch is an unforgettable example of the Victorian quest for the
exotic. Simply magnificent!
Condition: Excellent. Very well done mounting (see photos of the back). A natural drying of the organic claws. Includes original black leather box high-lighted with gold leaf, a deep wine velvet bed and a cream satin lid liner. Box is in good condition and closes firmly with a brass hinge and push button fastener.
Size: 2” wide, 2” high, 1/4” deep.
CANDLELIGHT SPARKLERS ( Victorian Jewelry Cut Steel
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.
|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!|
|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.
IVORY BIRD NESTED IN FLORAL SPLENDOR ( Victorian Ivory Jewelry Bird &
Floral Brooch / Pin ): I am pleased to offer one of the most
intricate and captivating examples of Victorian Romanticism captured in
carved ivory. (c. 1860-80) Botanical and nature themes combine in this,
delicate carving of a bird perched on the edge of her nest guarding two
precious ivory eggs. The nest is carefully hidden in a spray of cabbage
roses, buds & leaves. The thorny boughs will add additional protection
from predators. These miniature floral masterpieces reached great
heights in the mid to late 19th century when the colorless jewels became
the vogue. Look at the fine, yet lush, carving of the roses. They are
marvels of skill and artistry. The rose buds and leaves are lacy and
airy. The tiny feathers are carved in realistic, precise detail – even
her eyes and beak are daintily rendered. This antique brooch was
certainly a treasure brought back as a tourist souvenir from Dieppe,
France, where the most skillful workers practiced their craft. The
carving has a creamy light patina and glossy highlights. The back
retains its original C clasp & pin stem closure. The vibrancy of nature
has found its most perfect expression in the timeless beauty of this
superb Victorian Ivory brooch.
Condition: Excellent. The Ivory is flawless.
Size: 2” wide, 1 5/8” high, 3/8” deep.
|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!|
|GOLDEN BIRD AND CLAW ( Victorian Tiger Claw Jewelry Brooch/Pin ) This is one of the most stunning and elaborate example of “Raj” tiger claw brooches that I have seen. (c.1870-80). Set in 18KT gold, with gold chasing and engraving, the focal point is a song bird, containing great detail in its feathers, set atop a bow & arrow. The bird has its wings extended, and its chest feathers are "puffed"out over the tail feathers. The head extends out to the side. The golden surround at the bottom of the claw and the golden cap on top of the claw have a very fine basket weave background with a lovely looped pattern of gold strands. The top itself has whorls of gold wires that are really breath taking. The bow, bow string & arrow also contain fine detailing and all are 3 dimensional. This amazing large tiger claw brooch was undoubtedly mounted in India. The original C clasp has been replaced with a safety clasp. This brooch is in perfect condition and the almost "frosted" look of the gold is soooo beautiful. The equal of any Museum quality brooch, meant for a true collector of the mysterious and exotic. Condition: Excellent. Size: 1 1/2" high, 1 5/8" wide, 1/2" deep.||SOLD!|
|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!|
|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!|
|DIVINE HARVEST ( Victorian Jewelry Ivory Locket ): Meticulously hand carved by a master carver, this exquisite Victorian Locket features a sheaf of wheat as its central motif. (c. 1870-90) An Ivory Locket such as this captivating French piece would be given as a token of marital bliss or sorrow. The wheat sheaf was representative of divine harvest and marital fertility. If this image appeared on a memorial piece it conveyed sorrow over the death of an aged loved one. This wheat motif has been carved directly into the locket front, a much more difficult process than the way most lockets were carved. The design was usually carved separately and then “pegged” into the locket cover. The large grooved bale is just lovely – the overall ivory grain and patina are rich and warm. This locket opens from the left and retains its original gold rimmed fabric liners and covers. It would look outstanding on a ribbon, chain or ivory beads. A Victorian treasure so modern in look and feel, but with a far more intimate personal aura. One of the most beautiful Antique Ivory Lockets I have found and sturdy enough to wear often. Condition: Excellent. Truly superb! Size: Locket with bale 2 1/2” long, 1 5/8” wide, 5/8” deep.||SOLD!|
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