During the year, I have found a number of lovely pieces from different eras and wanted to share them. The first piece is a late Georgian guard or watch chain with an outstretched hand clasp. The chain is nice, a typical light Georgian chain, but it is the hand clasp that makes it special as they are hard to find. Georgians used hands to signify friendship. The hand is usually depicted with a cuff and a gem set ring on its finger. Sometimes the hand might be wearing a gem set bracelet as well. My hand clasp has a cuff and is wearing a ring which probably had a tiny gem set in it at some stage.
The next piece is also Georgian and is a memorial oval pendant locket in gold. On one side, palette-worked hair in the shape of a sheaf of wheat is shown and on the other side is a glazed compartment with woven brown hair. The sheaf of wheat has one broken stalk. A sheaf of wheat in mourning jewellery symbolizes divine harvest and also represents death of the aged, according to Maureen DeLorme’s book ‘Mourning Art & Jewelry’.
Next is another memorial piece from around 1850 to 1880. It is a bracelet set with an engraved gold central piece which is a locket. Inside the locket is a painting of a young girl with long hair, blue eyes and wearing a dress with blue ribbons on the shoulders. The band is table-worked plaited strands but they have stretched and snagged.
Then I found these beautiful Victorian earrings formed as three coral drops hanging from gold grape leaves. I am assuming that the coral is meant to be grapes. I happen to have a Victorian brooch with a similar look. It is as a coiled branch with grape leaves, a coral branch and a coral acorn (it is in the top photo in my post on summer a few weeks ago). Worn together, they look an almost perfect match.
What should be my final favourite for this year – rings, earrings, pendants? It was hard to choose but finally I decided on this modern (or vintage) bangle. It is madcap and over the top but charming at the same time. It is a gold hinged bangle which is designed to look like a bough of a tree. The bottom half is textured to look like wood. The top part has knots as if pieces of the bough have fallen off and the rest is covered in small white, champagne and black diamonds. So unusual and lovely.
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone! I will be back in the New Year with more stories about jewellery.