Antique Georgian Maltese Cross pendant necklace. 15 carat gold, chalcedony, sapphire, glass and hair. Made in the United Kingdom 1820-1825. Comes with an antique 15ct gold chain.
Has been independently appraised.
For full description, please see below.
Measurements: total weight is 23.0 grams. Length of chain is 41cm (16inches). Cross measures 1 5/8 inches (4cm) across and 5.6cm long including the bale. Green sapphire 1.38ct.
Description : Maltese Cross with its square shape and exquisite, rich decoration, sapphire and enclosed locket at the back. The 4 arms of the cross are carved chalcedony - transluscent white in color that glows as the light catches it at various angles. Rising towards the center is superb cannetille work with scrolling filigree and golden beads, very 3-dimentional as the wires twist and scroll over one another. Cannetille also fans out to the 4 diagonals between the arms, with modelled flowers near the end of each. At the apex of the cannetille work, in the center of the cross, is a lively sapphire. According to our independent appraiser, it is actually a green sapphire. To the naked eye, it looks yellow, but it tests gemologically as green.
The reverse is very similarly made with rich cannetille fanning to the corners and focusing on a small locket with woven hair under crystal. Beautifully made attachment to which an openwork ring is attached. This allows a chain of almost any size or a ribbon to pass through. The pendant comes with a beautiful, later antique chain that is not original to the cross. The chain has a later jump ring clasp, marked 15ct.
A similar Georgian Maltese Cross is shown on page 89 (plate 94) of the book Understanding Jewellery by David Bennett & Daniela Mascetti. The Maltese Cross appeared during the 16th century. It was known as the Cross of the Knights of St. John. Towards the late 18th century, it became a fashion craze in particular in England, which ironically supressed the Order. Like other examples of the period, the gold is in two colors - brighter towards the base and lighter as it rises.
Marks: The cross is not marked which is to be expected of Georgian jewelry. Gold was acid tested to ensure metal purity.
Condition: Good very condition with negligible wear commensurate with age. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer. <P><P> Independent appraisal available to new owner upon request.
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