Here are a few more examples of converted or re-purposed jewellery pieces. The first one is a garnet ring converted from a pendant (pictured above). You can see how it looked originally below.
The garnet cabochon is a beautiful rich colour and looked as if it was in an enclosed setting with a glazed compartment at the back, usually intended to hold hair. There was a problem with the pendant as it would come apart and the garnet would fall out of its setting. In the photo below you can see what was behind the cabochon – some red foil sitting on top of oval pieces of thin cardboard, and a glazed back cover.
The ring was made with an open back and the colour of the garnet is still quite good without its foil back.
The next photo shows two watch cocks converted into earrings. These elaborately engraved gilt watch-cocks were part of the mechanism of pocket watches with verge escarpments made in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. They acted as a cover to protect the watch movement and to cover the balance-wheel.
Each watch-cock is unique, hand crafted by specialists. This protective cover was at first quite plain but gradually they were pieced, engraved and chased, turning into works of art. The French call them ‘coqs de montré’ which somehow has a nicer sound. However, they were usually English made, as England was the centre of fine watchmaking at the time. Some have floral designs, grotesque faces, dolphins, birds, stars, crescents or disks. Many look like lace. Verge watches were replaced with new watch mechanisms in the 19th century and the Victorians began to turn the ornate watch-cocks into jewellery. Necklaces, brooches, fob chains, even rings were made out of the cocks.
The last photo shows some shield cuff links converted into earrings. The fitting on one of the cufflinks had broken and so they couldn’t be used as intended. I think they look quite nice as earrings.