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Victorian Jewelry

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Item: Description: Price:


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.



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.



BED OF ROSES ( Victorian Jewelry Bone Stretch Bracelet ): I have handled some really beautiful and intricately carved Antique Bone Bracelets, but this one is the crème de la crème! (French c. 1850-70) I really can't imagine how the master carver visualized, much less created, the intricate and delicate foliage intertwining between the three large, fully opened, three dimensional rose blossoms. Much of the interior carving is full thickness. We have tried to demonstrate this in our photos, but they do not nearly do it justice. When on the wrist, your skin shows through creating a stunningly beautiful picture. Rose buds occupy three of the corners of the “Bed of Roses”, with the stem and leaves growing from the fourth. In the Victorian “Language of Flowers” roses are an expression of love. And you will love this beauty! It has a soft patina and ivory is flattering to all skin tones. You can see the bone grain on the back. Twelve bone posts, separated by bone beads, make up the rest of the bracelet. Two strands of elastic (invented in 1830) run through all. The replacement elastic allows it to stretch over even a large hand – making it available and comfortable for all size wrists. A collector's dream!

Condition: Excellent. No breakage. The delicate interior is cleverly protected by the three roses.
Size: Bed of Roses 2” high, 1 5/8” wide, 1/2” deep. Back is curved to fit wrist. Posts 1 1/2” high, 6/16” wide, 3/16” deep. Beads 1/8” in diameter. Inner diameter 6 1/2”. Will stretch over large hand.


MESSAGE OF LOVE ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Grained Material Bird in Flight Pendant ): 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 stunning Bird Pendant, made of grained material, carries an envelope his beak – no doubt a message of love or friendship – “my love flies to you”. (c. 1850-70) Exquisitely hand-carved, this feathered messenger clearly shows every feather in perfect detail. There are even tiny eyes and a seal on the love note he carries in his delicate beak. Take note of the lovely long wing feathers and the rounded body dotted with perfect tiny feathers. The grain of the carved material is clearly seen on the back of the pendant. (see photo) There is a sizable diamond shaped bale to accommodate a nice chain. This antique pendant was certainly a treasure brought back as a souvenir from Dieppe, France, where the most skillful carvers practiced their craft. The bird carving has a creamy patina and glossy highlights. The vibrancy of nature has found its most perfect expression in the timeless beauty of this superb Victorian “love in flight” pendant.

Condition: Excellent. Chain not included.
Size: 2 7/8” long (including bale), 1 5/8” wide, 3/8” deep.



MUSEUM QUALITY PIQUÉ INLAY ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Piqué Tortoiseshell Earrings ): Piqué is by definition gold and/or silver inlaid into another material, such as Ivory or Tortoiseshell. By the mid-19th Century, this beautiful art found renewed popularity as a decoration for jewelry. The piqué jewelry fashion seemed to follow the popularity of Tortoiseshell. The lightness of the material lent itself well to earrings. These long and luscious oval piqué earrings are from my personal collection and they are suburb examples of a lost art. (English c. 1870) Elongated ovals are are inlayed with silver and gold floral motifs. A free-swinging oval of translucent tortoiseshell dangles in the middle – beautiful coloration! Sleek and chic, the deep natural tone of the chocolate shell is the perfect counterpoint for the graceful inset precious metals. Round tortoiseshell beads atop these articulated earrings are accented with a golden flower and retain their original gold ear-wires. The painstaking and laborious process of piqué, while delighting its admirers, faded from sight due to its time demands upon the creators. 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 or colorless stones which emerged as the Edwardian styles took the stage. These dainty and feminine earrings capture the essence of the 19th Century – never to be repeated again.

Condition: Excellent. Museum quality! No missing inlay.
Size: From piqué orb to bottom of oval 2” long, 1” wide, 1/8” deep. Center tortoiseshell oval drop 7/8” long, 1/2” wide.



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.



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.



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”.



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.



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.


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!


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.


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!


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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