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Victorian Jewelry

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Item: Description: Price:


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.





ENTWINED SNAKES CELEBRATE LOVE ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Double Snake Brooch ): 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. Regal in size, this double snake Victorian Brooch features Persian turquoise set in silver. The turquoise stone's colors range from dark green to light blue. They may have changed over their century and a half. The American Indians say that turquoise absorbs illness and keeps you well. Their eyes are tiny garnets and their heads and tails exhibit scale-like engraving. (c. 1850-70) The brooch back has a replacement pin back with a center opening safety clasp. The back has a reinforcement made of gold. These changes were made a long time ago and give the snakes a long lasting stability. Grand in size and rich in color, this double 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 life time. These snake brooches are highly desirable and a great favorite with collectors.

Condition: Very good. Reinforcement to back and replacement pin and safety clasp.
Size: 2 7/8” wide, 1 3/4” high.





GLITTERING DIAMOND ( Antique Victorian Jewelry Cut Steel Brooch / Pin ): OK, this large diamond shaped brooch is not made up of true diamonds, but the cut steel studs are not a bad replacement especially in the era where candlelight provided the illumination. The 18th Century first saw cut steel as a replacement for the precious gems Louis XV requisitioned to finance the Seven Years' War. Although cut steel pieces were found throughout the Georgian era in the form of shoe buckles, knee buckles and buttons, its popularity reached its peak from about 1850 to the late Victorian Period. Cut steel jewelry is set with minute steel studs which have been faceted and polished to a high sheen. Each small cut steel bead is individually riveted onto a metal backing plate. The tiny riveted pieces are densely set in pavé fashion. This horizontal diamond shaped brooch is made up of intricately curled patterns with a six petal flower in the center. There are larger studs around the periphery and four sizable “pyramids” of cut steel topped with large studs. Though in its present state I would say this is a Victorian Brooch due to its large size, I think it originally some sort of buckle. It has a replacement safety catch pin back and there is the small remnant of some vertical attachment on the back – possibly a buckle attachment. (I wish I were more of an expert and could say this with certainty because it would make it quite rare and even more valuable.) If you're clever, this large brooch could be worn at the “V” of a low-necked dress. Remember – diamonds are a girl's best friend – Cut Steel puts a different spin on it!

Condition: Excellent. Two small areas of solder repair on back.
Size: 4” wide, 3 1/4” high, pyramids 1/4” high.




THE WONDER OF UNGER ( Art Nouveau Jewelry Sterling Silver Unger Brothers Brooch / Pin ): Unger Bros. was one of the most creative and premier manufacturers of Art Nouveau Sterling Silver items in the United States. This firm reached its creative zenith from 1895 to 1907. The company’s most popular items were decorated with fantastic Nouveau designs incorporating flowers, heads of women, ocean waves and seashells. This splendid large brooch is of a fashionable lady wearing a plumed hat, her face entirely covered with a veil with a large elaborate bow tied under her chin. (c. 1900-10) Her eyes are demurely downcast, her nose a perfect line and her lips are slightly parted. This elegant lady brooch has all the “bells and whistles”. The design is done in die-stamp high relief work for which the Unger Bros. were known. The sculptural quality of the high relief work creates a distinctive three-dimensional sense – adding to the fantasy-like atmosphere of the design. The reverse has been backed with a flat sheet of Sterling to give more substance. There is a replacement C clasp closure on the back and the distinctive hallmark with the interlaced “U” and “B” surrounded by the words and numbers “STERLING 925 FINE”. Many of these large brooches are in museums or private collections. Lovely to look at, thrilling to hold, a real show stopper! Picture yourself with this worn on black velvet. You’ll be the envy of every lady who sees you and this could become your personal signature piece.

Condition: Excellent. Wonderful patina. The two tiny pin holes on the reverse are part of the casting process.
Size: Large – 2 1/2" high, 2 1/2" wide, 1/2" deep.





LOST IN TIME ( Georgian Jewelry Portrait Miniature Brooch / Pin ): This is a superb example of early miniature portrait painting, definitely museum quality. Portrait painting was very popular during the mid 1700's to the late 1800's as an art form. This lovely lady's name is Lost in Time, but her beauty lives on. Note the detail of the exquisite lace of her head dress. Her dress is green and there is a yellow ribbon in her lace headdress. Appropriately she is wearing a portrait miniature (or cameo). Prior to the advent of photography these small pieces served as memoirs of loved ones. Though first popular in Europe, during our Civil War wives commonly gave them to husbands off to war to remember them by. This particular brooch is European (c. 1820-30). The painting is done in what appears to be a compilation of oil based paint and watercolor. The quality of the painting is superb and although the piece appears to be unsigned, it was clearly the work of a master portraiture artist. It may also be signed on the reverse as was often the custom, but the back is not accessible. It is mounted in a 14KT yellow gold frame and cased in glass. The piece has the original C clasp and early tube style hinge. High quality portraits such as this are primarily housed in museums and private collections. They are an art form that was not particularly popular during the 20th Century, but has zoomed up in popularity since the turn of this century. These Miniature Masterpieces are now appreciated for what they truly are – beautiful works of art. This is a rare opportunity to own a very fine example of wearable art that will only become more valuable in the years to come.

Condition: Excellent. There is a tiny crack in the edge of the glass (see photo).
Size: 2 1/8” high, 1 5/8” wide, 1/4” deep.





CUT STEEL SWALLOW GLITTERS WITH LIGHT ( Georgian Jewelry Cut Steel Bird Brooch / Pin ): This large glittering Georgian Cut Steel Swallow in flight will make your heart beat faster. (c. 1820) Cut Steel has a long history of its very own admirers – revered in the 17th Century and again in the Victorian period. Used as an alternative for the look of early cut diamonds, cut steel jewelry is a highly refined process. Each small cut steel bead or stud is hand cut, faceted, polished and painstakingly riveted into a metal (typically brass) back piece. Take a look at all of the rivet marks on the back of this swallow and think of the work involved! The Georgian and Victorian eras were deeply committed to the “cult of nature”. Birds and butterflies took center stage as popular motifs in jewelry. Birds in flight symbolized the winged soul as it begins its eternal journey. This wonderfully dramatic Swallow Brooch glimmers and sparkles, creating a 3-dimensional effect with its wings applied in two layers. The lower wing has been added on so that it is fully extended in front of the bird’s body. The back retains its original C clasp and pin stem. English or French in origin, resist the temptation to shade your eyes as the light dances from one facet to the other. (Our photos cannot nearly capture the glittering effect.) In the last decade Antique Cut Steel Jewelry has gained increasing popularity and the demand for these pieces is high. This large bird is the biggest piece I have ever offered. Picture this sparkling creation perched on your shoulder, lapel or even in your hair – if you dare!

Condition: Excellent. Very small amount of expected patina. No rust, no beads missing.
Size: 1 1/4" high, 2 1/2" long, 1/2” deep. (Large)





STOLEN TREASURE ( Arts & Crafts Jewelry Peacock Eye Brooch / Pin ): I was very excited when I found this dazzling example of the Arts & Crafts Movement on my last buying trip. Powerful and mysterious, this large mythical clawed bird foot is gripping a huge Peacock Eye stone. It appears to be reaching down from the sky to clutch its brilliantly hued treasure – a stolen treasure gone forever. This brooch displays the vibrancy of nature in fine and precise craftsmanship. The practitioners of the Arts & Crafts Movement (c. 1890-1920) were revivalists of the past. (You can see the Medieval and Gothic influence in the choice of a claw.) 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. The leg of the powerful bird is realistically rendered in brass with a brownish patina – every scale and claw as if made by nature. (c. 1900-1910) At the top of the foot is an encircling cluster of leaves – giving the impression of the leg reaching right through them to steal the colorful treasure. Peacock Eye stones were hand crafted, glass over foil and a favorite of Arts & Craft designers. The back of the brooch has a replacement pin stem and safety catch closure. This timeless beauty embodies all of the hallmarks of the Arts & Crafts movement in one breathtaking brooch. It’s a killer combination!

Condition: Excellent. Replacement pin stem and safety clasp.
Size: 3” long, 1 3/8” high, 1/2" deep. Peacock Eye Stone is 1” long, 5/8” high, 3/8” deep.






THE POWER OF THE HIGHLANDS ( Victorian Jewelry Scottish Agate Brooch / Pin ): When Queen Victoria and Albert purchased Balmoral Castle in 1848 the heart of English society was immediately captivated with the subtle colors of moss and heather, the mysteries of high gray castle walls and the strict heraldry which still ruled the Scottish clans. This extraordinary antique Victorian brooch mimics the penannular (broken ring) brooches that were used to secure the clan’s tartan plaid to the left shoulder of the Scottish Highlander. (c. 1850-70) Inlayed with 5 pieces of agate and 2 slices of bloodstone, this ancient stone is actually a dark green chalcedony with flecks of red – hence the name bloodstone. Many ancient magical powers are credited to it, including the power to stop bleeding and preserve health. The Sterling Silver portions are elaborately engraved, the long pin running through the center makes a handsome accent. The three large bezel set faceted stones are citrines. This is not a hollow ware piece - it is solid Sterling. The back retains its original C clasp closure, elongated pin stem and a tiny ring for a safety chain. A perfect jacket or shawl brooch that a collector will love. The market for prime Scottish jewelry is rising rapidly and pieces as large and powerful as this brooch are disappearing fast. Songs and stories immortalize the fierce and turbulent past that still haunts the Scottish soul. Regal, elegant and a touch barbaric – this unforgettable brooch is as wearable today as it was 150 years ago.

Condition: Excellent. I believe the dark agate stone just above the citrine in the pin head to be a replacement. No scratches on citrines.
Size: Large – 2 3/8” in diameter, front pin stem 2 3/4" long, 3/8” deep.





PANSY FOR PASSION ( Victorian Jewelry Garnet Brooch / Pin ): Garnet is the birth stone for January, but desired by all collectors of Victorian Jewelry. Some believe that garnets empower the wearer with truth, constancy and faith. In the Victorian “language of flowers” the pansy expresses the sentiment “think of me” and was often given as a token of love. They are also said to enrich the blood and provide the wearer with a long and happy life. To me the rich deep red color of glittering garnets suggests a passion for the past. Set with faceted Bohemian garnets, this Antique Pansy Pin is both simple and stunning. (c. 1860-80) Two different sizes of faceted garnets are set in a vermeil (rose gold wash over silver) with each of the five pansy petals gently curved. The larger garnets are set where each petal attaches to the stem. A single large garnet surrounded by tiny shiny metal globes represents the pistil of the blossom. The elongated pin stem & C clasp are original to the piece. Bring the past into your present. If you have been wanting an Antique Garnet Brooch for yourself or need a thoughtful gift – now is the time to purchase this distinctive glittering garnet pansy. The price is right, so don’t wait!

Condition: Excellent. No missing stones.
Size: 1 3/8" high, 1 1/4" wide, 1/4" deep.




SHIMMERING BLUE BELLE ÉPOQUE ( Edwardian Jewelry Guilloché Locket ): This superb Edwardian shimmering blue guilloché locket is simply the largest and most stunning piece of its kind that I have seen. (c. 1890-1920) Only a confident lady of the Belle Époque era would have worn this large Sterling Silver Stunner. The technique of guilloché enamel features an engraved decoration of geometric design achieved by engine turning. When used as a base for translucent enamel it creates a shimmering effect. The intense deep blue of this locket provides an opulent background for the “garland style” – hand painted pink and pale yellow roses that circle the border of this oval antique locket. Swags of leaves have been painted above the central bouquet of mixed roses. There are tiny gold dot accents on the locket front. The back of the locket is also deep blue enamel over a wave pattern emanating from the center. The good sized pendant ring is marked “935 M” and the pendant itself is jeweler tested as Sterling. The locket interior contains its original inserts and celluloid covers, which have yellowed with time. The hinged closure is firm and tight. These guilloché lockets have become a favorite with collectors. The more complex the design and the more colors used, the more highly the piece is valued. This rich and sumptuous locket will linger in your mind. It is an unforgettable example of Belle Époque extravagance.

Condition: Excellent. A few surface scratches visible only under magnification.
Size: 2 1/4” high, 1 3/4” wide.




A PASSION FOR THE PAST ( Victorian Jewelry Garnet Pin / Pendant ): Garnet is the birthstone for January, but desired by all collectors of Victorian Jewelry. The stone received its name from the Latin word for pomegranate because it reminded early scientists of pomegranate seeds. The 19th Century was the peak of Bohemian Garnet Jewelry mined from the mountains of Bohemia. Placed closely together the garnets produce a brighter and deeper color than when set singularly. Glittering Garnets dance across the surface of this multi-layered Victorian Brooch. (c. 1860-80) Set with five tiers of different sizes and shapes of garnets, this wonderful brooch also acts as a pendant. There is a hinged triangular shaped bale with an O-ring in it so that the pendant will lie correctly when you hang it from a chain. I like it worn this way because it produces a marquise shape. As a brooch it is more of an oval. More interesting in its design than many garnet pieces, it seems fresher and more fascinating to the modern eye. The gems are all closed back and, as is characteristic for this type of jewelry, have been set in gilt gold over silver – referred to as “garnet gold”. On the back the elongated pin stem has been shortened and a safety clasp added. During the Victorian era Western cultures believed that garnets would enrich the blood and provide the wearer with a long and healthy life. To me the rich deep wine red color of garnets suggests a passion for the past. Bring the past into your present. If you have been wanting an Antique Garnet Pin or Pendant for yourself or need a loving gift – now it the time to purchase this distinctive multi-functional Glittering Garnet treasure.

Condition: Excellent. No missing stones. The chain is not included.
Size: As a pendant – 2” high, 1 1/2" wide, 1/2” deep.




AMOROUS AMPHORAE ( Vintage Victorian Style Jewelry Faux Tortoiseshell Urn Earrings ): I was thrilled when I first saw this pair of what I thought was a pair of aristocratic and beautiful Antique Amphora Urn Tortoiseshell Earrings. A more experienced collector agreed that they were very lovely and looked like the antique urn-shaped earrings that are so sought after, but I should look at them against a light since some were made of a resin and did not have the various gold, amber and brown shapes and colors seen in true tortoiseshell. A lesson well learned! By the 1860’s, Revivalism was in full swing. Women were wearing Etruscan-style amulets and other “classical” ornaments. The “Grand Period” of Victorian style had begun. Tortoiseshell emerged as a popular jewelry material. These elegant faux tortoiseshell earrings in the shape of amphorae urns are suspended from a resin tortoiseshell ring and have gold shepherd’s hook ear wires. The popular amphora shape is derived from an ancient Greco-Roman handled urn with a tapered base. Highly desired by collectors, this style of earrings are a reminder of the simple and classical beauty produced by Victorian artisans. Despite these being Faux Tortoiseshell, they look great and are much less expensive than the real thing. Your friends will never know!

Condition: Excellent
Size: 1 5/8” long, 7/16” wide. Amphora is fully rounded.





MANIA FOR ALL THINGS JAPANESE ( Victorian Jewelry Aesthetic Silver Locket ): This beautiful Sterling Silver Locket (c. 1880) contains all of the traits of the aesthetic movement. Simplicity was the keynote to all design: an economy of line, perfectly spaced composure and just one carefully observed individual characteristic of each leaf, flower and bird were all the elements needed to create the atmosphere and aesthetic beauty that so intoxicated Europe and the West. The mania for all things Japanese was on. Large silver lockets and wide bracelets were the most successful pieces to convey the most desired “look”. On the cover of this locket you can see engraved bamboo and fern-like foliage, some slightly bending to the gentle gusts of wind. To add a touch of color, an appliqué of gold wash rests on the surface of the delicate butterfly and the two birds perched on fine branches. There is a wonderful large bale to add a chain and the edges of the locket are grooved on both the front and back of the locket. The back is marked “STERLING”. To own a locket of this Japanese style will give you delight as you describe what the change of style and ornamentation meant to the history of jewelry. (Be sure to mention that the first pieces of “Japonaiserie” were made by the men who hand ornamented Samurai swords until swords were outlawed by the government.)

Condition: Excellent. The locket snaps closed very securely. The inside is empty.
Size: 2 1/4" high including bale, 1 1/2" wide, 1/4" deep.





LADIES LUXURY LENSES ( Art Nouveau Jewelry Sterling Silver Lorgnette / Pendant ): Particularly popular in the 19th Century, lorgnettes – a pair of lenses with a handle – were used as fashion accessories, as well as optical aids, by upper class ladies. They were commonly seen at the opera (the forebear of today's opera glasses) and worn on a long neck chain to aid the mistress of the house in reading. This lovely Antique Sterling Silver Lorgnette is a fashion statement (no power in the lenses) – but an unusually elegant one. Its silver case is decorated with two intricately and sinuously intertwined snakes in whiplash curves – typically seen in the Art Nouveau era (1890-1910). It was undoubtedly worn on a chain or ribbon around the neck as a pendant, as well as opened for show. Looking closely you will see the open mouths of the snakes with tongues and fangs at each end. The centrally located thistles probably make these Scottish snakes. The pattern is the same front and back. The small lever on the side releases a spring hinge allowing the folded lenses to swing out. A spring between the lenses opens them up into a pair of glasses. Another rare and beautiful item for your collection.

Condition: Excellent. In good working condition. Your optician could easily add power to the lenses should you desire. Chain not included.
Size: 4 3/4” long, 1 1/4” wide, 1/2” deep. Lenses when open 4” wide, 1 1/8” high.



SPARKLING PYRAMID OF GARNETS ( Victorian Jewelry Bohemian Garnet Brooch / Pendant): Garnet is the birth stone for January, but desired by all collectors of Victorian Jewelry. The stone received its name from the Latin word for pomegranate because it reminded early scientists of pomegranate seeds. The 19th Century was the peak of Bohemian Garnet Jewelry – mined from the mountains of Bohemia (present-day western Czech Republic). Placed closely together, the garnets produced a brighter and a deeper color than when set singularly. So it is with this fiery Victorian Antique Brooch, set with a marvelous raised cluster of garnets upon garnets. (c. 1870) Oval in form, the deep wine garnet stones are placed in a tier six layers deep, producing a highly domed effect of brilliantly flashing garnets. All of the stones are faceted and appear in four different sizes. The pendant/brooch still retains its original circular drop. The circular, free swinging drop is a beautiful accent to this large piece. The gems are all closed back and, as is characteristic for this type of jewelry, have all been set into rose gold gilt over silver (commonly referred to as “garnet gold”). The reverse of this brooch/pendant must have an interesting history. At some time the elongated pin stem has been shortened and the original C clasp has a “capped” housing for the tip of the pin so that it will not catch or pull on fabric if worn as a pendant. There is also a hinged pendant loop added at the top – so many ladies now prefer pendants. You would need to add a ring or bale to make this piece hang properly from a chain. During the Victorian era, Western cultures believed that garnets would enrich the blood and provide the wearer with a long & healthy life. Highly coveted by collectors, this is a dazzling, sparkling example of antique garnet jewelry at its best.

Condition: Excellent. There are no missing garnets. One or two of the small ones may be replacements.
Size: 2 1/4" long, including drop, 1 1/2" wide, 1/2" deep.




THE SHIMMER & SPARKLE OF GARNETS ( Victorian Jewelry Garnet Brooch / Pin ): The history and mystery of garnets is part of their charm. This stone received its name from the Latin word for pomegranate because it reminded early gemologists of pomegranate seeds. During the Victorian era Western cultures believed that garnets would enrich the blood and provide the wearer with a long and healthy life. Glittering garnets dance across the surface of this multi-layered early Victorian Brooch. (c. 1830-60) The deep wine red garnets are faceted to refract sheer brilliance and their radiance and glow is simply luscious. Unlike many flat garnet designs, this antique brooch is composed of multi-leveled tiers of sparkling and varied sized garnets. The entire top portion of the brooch is domed with a sparkling drop suspended at the bottom. The central bezel set cabochon oval garnet is surrounded by a starburst of tiny white pearls, each set in its individual tiny “petal”. The floral shaped drop also has a tiny pearl at its center. A very unusual design that adds elegance and refinement to the brooch. The gems are all closed back and, as is characteristic for this type of jewelry, have all been set into rose gold gilt over silver – commonly called “garnet gold”. There is an early replacement C clasp closure and a pin stem replacement. If you have been wanting a special piece of garnet jewelry, you cannot do better than this – the essence of Victorian style.

Condition: Excellent. All stones and pearls are original.
Size: With dangle 2" high, 2”wide, 3/8" deep. Dangle is 5/8” long, 3/8” wide. Center cabochon is 5/8” wide, 3/8” high.



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RIBBONS OF WHITE ENAMEL OVER GARNETS ( Victorian Jewelry Garnet Earrings ): These feminine and appealing garnet earrings convey the essence of the Mid-Victorian Grand Period. (c. 1870) Complex in design, rich in color, these tear drop shaped earrings are 18KT gold with white enamel accents. The gold drop base is hollow – you can see the 2 tiny holes on the back – which makes them very light weight. A delicate studded rope border frames the bezel set cabochon garnet. A beautiful and unusual oval cut red-purple rhodolite garnet forms the centerpiece of each earring. The raised ribbon-like motifs above the garnet feature finely executed white enamel accented with gold stripes. The 14KT gold shepherd’s hook ear wires have been added over the years. In the Language of Gemstones, garnets have always represented fidelity and virtue. Garnets are the birth stone of ladies born in January, but remain highly popular every month of the year. Condition: Excellent. Size: 1 5/8” long, 5/8” wide, 1/4” deep. SALE!




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