Antique Victorian Napoleon III jewelry suite necklace bracelet pendant earrings and pin. Day Night. 18k yellow gold and onyx. Made
in France circa 1850's.
Measurements: Necklace is just under 15 1/2 (39cm) inches long. Drop is approximately 1 1/4 inches (3.5cm) long.
Bracelet is approximately 7 inches (17.5cm) long. Earrings are approximately 2 3/4 inches long (7cm). Pin a little over
2 1/4 inches (6cm) long. Combined weight is 18.7 grams.
For full description, please see below.
Astonishing to find a set of this age survive close on 200 years intact. Composed of finely carved and polished black onyx
set off with beautifully moulded 18k yellow gold. The necklace has elongated navette shaped faceted links, their terminals wrapped
in coils of gold and connected by small round links, enabling flexibility. The center of the necklace is a badge or shield
shape suspending a small black heart, all set in gold and perfectly matching the rest of the necklace. The bracelet has flat,
concave rectangular onyx links that reflect the shield of the necklace and also suspends a small heart, identical to the one on
the necklace. The center of the bracelet is mounted in repousse gold with foliage and flowers. The long dangle earrings match the necklace
and bracelet with their gradated rectangular links: beginning with a square and enlarging and widening towards the bottom.
The links are seperated from each other by gold mounts, giving the impression of a very luxurious ladder. The links allow for movement.
The same repousse work mounts the earrings. The earrings are long pendants and extremely elegant. The top and bottoms can be
seperated and can be worn alone or seperately. These are called top/drop or day and night earrings since the simpler surmounts
would be worn alone by day and the whole, more elaborate pendant could be worn at night. Earrings close from back to front,
typical of Victorian jewelry. Matching pin in 18k gold with a metal stick.
The heart theme that recurs in this set is a gentle hint of the love of the person wearing the jewelry to both the giver and possibly, the person who was lost. Victorian jewelry was full of symbols, most of which we have forgotten.
Good quality workmanship. The fine way the onyx is cut indicates a top quality, sophisticated
manufacturer. The understated gold work similarly reflects the high quality of the jewelry maker. The black and gold mourning color combination is stunning and no less fashionable and wearable today as it was before 1860. The tongue in groove clasp of the
bracelet is secure as is the engraved box-clasp of the necklace.
Mourning fashion was dictated by society during the 19th century and black, mourning jewelry was the only color permitted for one who had recently lost a loved one. This did not preclude the fabulous taste and aesthetics of the jewelry. Today, we would wear black and gold as the ultimate in elegance.
Marks: the set is marked in a few places with the gold eagle mark, indicating 18k gold in France.
Condition is good with negligible wear commensurate with age. Please see enlarged photos and don't hesitate to ask questions
which will do our best to answer.
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