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Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian (11)

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Rare Antique Sterling Silver Suffragette Bar Brooch

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1910   item# 1109825

Rare Antique Sterling Silver Suffragette Bar Brooch
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Very finely crafted with ornate ends and edges, this antique bar pin is of sterling silver (unmarked but tested), set with sparkling amethyst, peridot and diamond pastes. That it's sterling is quite remarkable for a Suffragette item; typically these are either totally costume or top end, made of gold and gems.

Complementing the beautiful metalwork, the stones here are excellent pretenders, especially the 16 fancy-cut amethysts channel-set in groups of four. Every stone appears original. Another nod to unusual quality is the early safety lever fitted on the C clasp. This is a type that dates from the 19th century, as is the hinge with its slight sideways wobble. The pinstem, originally elongated, was snipped to a less hazardous length at some time, as is common with brooches this old. Either Late Victorian or Edwardian, it reached us from a Florida estate. Likeliest dating would be 1900-1910.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. There's no charge for insured U.S. Priority shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery. Gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



Victorian Renaissance Revival Sailing Ship Brooch

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 1016381

Victorian Renaissance Revival Sailing Ship Brooch
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This antique silver gilt brooch is wonderfully elaborate, featuring seven rose-cut diamond pastes, golden yellow enamelwork and such a wealth of detail that you can tell the ship is a carrack (as opposed to a galleon, caravel or cog) sporting the Scottish flag, a St. Andrew's Cross.

As museums opened across Europe in the 19th century, people flocked to marvel at the treasures of the past -- and then they wanted the look for themselves. That led to a series of historical revivals, including Classical, Gothic, Baroque and Rococo, as well as Renaissance. This particular example evokes the 16th century, when monarchs vied to build the greatest of "great ships" for expanding navies bent on conquest. Obviously, the impulse struck just the right note again in Victorian times, when the British Empire enjoyed "sun never sets on it" size -- because Britannia ruled the waves, of course.

Measuring about an inch wide by 1.25 inches tall, the brooch has an old open C clasp and the type of hinge introduced around 1870. The pinstem would have been elongated originally, but got shortened sometime later in the interest of safety. Condition is quite nice, with only one tiny ding in the enamel and age-appropriate loss of silver gilt (mainly on the reverse). All stones remain brilliant and appear original. Although it reached us from a Colorado estate, the brooch certainly originated in Europe, most likely in the British Isles.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. I'm always happy to send larger images that will give you a clearer view. Thanks for looking!



Rare Victorian Double Cherub Pin with 3-Chain Swag

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 957773

Rare Victorian Double Cherub Pin with 3-Chain Swag
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

This romantic and fascinating pair of cherub brooches joined by chains probably served to hold a Victorian lady's train -- gathering it to the side or into a bustle for dancing. It might also have been used as a chatelaine, from which various articles in frequent use were suspended by small hooks (e.g., keys, lorgnette, dainty scissors and such).

Whatever tricks it performed in the 19th century, it's a obvious treasure today -- perfect to secure your favorite shawls, scarves and cardigans. Alternatively, you might load the chains with charms and pin the festoon anywhere -- or let the item fulfill its original function as a bustle pin for a wedding or evening gown.

Of silvered brass, showing only minor losses of plating, the brooches feature two adorable repousse cherubs or angels, each with the good old open C clasp indicative of great age. The larger figure is 2.5 inches tall, while the smaller is an inch tall. They're united by three 8-inch chains of a silver metal brighter in color now than the pins, but those can easily be polished to match if you don't mind disturbing the patina of age. It's possible the chains are later replacements, but they're certainly not modern. My guess is that they're original, made of a material chosen to be sturdy in use.




Victorian Enameled Gilt Silver Filigree Butterfly Pin

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 865540

Victorian Enameled Gilt Silver Filigree Butterfly Pin
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Whenever we're longing for spring or welcoming it, a colorful butterfly brooch suits the mood. Here's an especially charming antique one, fashioned of hallmarked 800 silver with panels of exquisite plique a jour enamelwork. That's the transparent kind, which lets light gleam through like stained glass. You can even glimpse the fine filigree through the colors -- artful blends of yellow, green, aqua and violet.

We can date the brooch precisely by its pin mechanism, a type used circa 1890, yet its condition is superb. I can't find any enamel losses. The filigree shows age patina, of course, and you might want this brightened a bit. A gentle polish by your jeweler would do it. (Please don't try cleaning enameled jewels at home, since even water can be damaging.)

Particularly clever is the sturdy understructure that supports these gracefully fluttering wings; it looks rather like a bi-plane. There's also an unusual early safety catch, the type with a v-shaped lever. The clasp is an old open C.

Size is about an inch in each direction and half an inch high. Probable origin would be Austro-Hungarian or Italian, though it reached us as a Texas estate find. The reverse has, besides the 800 stamp, a lozenge-shaped maker mark we haven't yet been able to interpret.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!



Superb Victorian Neoclassical Sapphire Ring size 10.5

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 691013

Superb Victorian Neoclassical Sapphire Ring size 10.5
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you!

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At size 10.5, this astounding antique ring was fashioned either for a man or for a woman to wear over gloves. Certainly it was hand-made, most likely in the 1860s or early 1870s. That's when the Neoclassical Revival was going full-tilt and the paintings of Lawrence Alma-Tadema took the world by storm.

The Greco-Roman beauty pictured here in a toga-like garment and classical headband could easily have stepped from one of his luxurious ancient scenes -- and even the heavenly blue of an Alma-Tadema sea is captured by the four sapphires that adorn the carved portrait. "Sapphire" means blue in Greek, BTW, and there's nothing bluer than the Aegean. It's known as "The Stone of Destiny" and, as such, is said to promote mental clarity and good fortune.

Besides being neoclassical to the max, the ring shows Arts and Crafts influence in its meticulous artistry, as well as the graceful simplicity of the mounting and the choice of silver, rather than gold.

These sapphires were represented to me as genuine gems of 5 point size. I'm no jeweler, but they appear real and are set as gems should be, open at the back for optimal sparkle. The only mark visible is Sterling, which suggests American origin. A European jewel of the same age and exquisite quality would have a row of symbolic hallmarks. There's a lot of silver involved, as the ring's face measures about 3/4 of an inch by 3/8 and total weight is in excess of 8 grams. Condition, as you see, is lovely and provenance is a Minnesota estate.

Whether you choose this as a special gift for your favorite gentleman or prefer to have the shank reduced to your size, you'll be very proud of it, indeed. It's a one-of-a-kind jewel worthy of those who collect the finest and it wouldn't be out of place in a museum display.

A maker mark may well lie under the deep patina on the ring's reverse, but the decision on far to go with cleaning rightly belongs to the next owner. Someone has recently polished the rest of it, thankfully with great sensitivity and intelligence. You wouldn't want it stripped back to made-yesterday whiteness.

Thanks for looking!



Mid-19th c. Victorian Malachite & Silver Pendant

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 556955

Mid-19th c. Victorian Malachite & Silver Pendant
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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Egypt took Victorian England by storm around 1850, when Thomas Cook launched the first Pyramid Tours. This hand-made pendant of unmarked silver inlaid with malachite -- much of the stone pyramid-cut -- dates from this era. It was actually the second Egyptian Revival period, the first being in Napoleonic times (due to military campaigns there). A third and a fourth arose when King Tut's treasures toured the world in the 1920s and again in the late 20th century.

This spectacular jewel, which measures 1 7/8 inches tall and half an inch at its widest, may have begun life as an earring. Keeping a pair of those together for more than 150 years is hard. We acquired it at auction in England. Enjoy it on your favorite antique chain or a ribbon of black or malachite green.

There's no charge for insured U.S. Priority shipping (with an equivalent discount for international delivery) and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Victorian Shell Cameo Vermeil Filigree Drop Earrings

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 410902

Victorian Shell Cameo Vermeil Filigree Drop Earrings
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! $225.  

Cameos are supposed to represent the Feminine Ideal, and yet most of them look too severe to please us girly girls. Well, these are different - not a bit matronly or too stately. Look at those lacy wide ruffles of gilt silver filigree and the carved cameo portraits of lovely young ladies with bows in their hair. The portraits, BTW, are unusually well-matched, showing little variation in features and the caramel background color. It's quite common for a so-called "set" of cameo earrings to look nothing alike and, even if they don't, they're very valuable, since cameo earrings are lot harder to find than brooches and pendants.

The hairdo our two pretty girls wear was stylish in the 1870s, so the cameos were most likely carved around then - in Italy, of course - and framed during the same period, probably in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Our clue to the mountings' origin, since those heavenly frames aren't marked, is the 835 hallmark that appears on the screw-back findings. Screw-backs didn't appear much before Edwardian times, so they were added 25 or 30 years later (replacing what would've been shepherds' crook earwires), but their mark tells us where the owner lived and presumably purchased the earrings or the mountings for cameos she'd brought home from Italy. The 835 silver grade, approaching sterling purity but sturdier, was also used in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, but this lavish filigree metalwork is more in the East European style.

Impressive both for quality and size, these enchanting earrings measure 3/4" wide and 1" tall (or 1 3/8" to the ear fastener ). The cameos measure 1/2" x 3/8" and rise in domed shape, as do their settings (raising the top surface about 1/4" above the back). The earrings are in lovely condition, showing no damage - just light wear to the vermeil (gilded silver) surface, which created a pleasing two-tone effect that makes the earrings wearable with silver or white gold, as well as yellow gold.

Since the findings aren't really worthy of these cameos and frames, you'll probably want to add new posts or wires of gold or sterling - an inexpensive task for any jeweler or you could easily do it, yourself, by slipping them through the loop at the top of each frame. We'd have done that, but wanted to leave the color and style choice to the lady who'll wear them. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Superb Victorian Sterling Fleur de Lys Brooch

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 339869

Superb Victorian Sterling Fleur de Lys Brooch
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Highly dimensional and rich with repousse work, this antique brooch is certainly hand-made - and almost as lovely on the reverse as on the front. Its T hinge, even more than the open C clasp, tells us we're looking at a *really* old one. Based on those details of fabrication and the restrained scale, probable dating is circa 1870 or older. There's a slight hint of early Art Nouveau in the decorative forms evoking flowers and feathers. No doubt the pinstem was originally a very long one, snipped at some point for comfort's sake (not a bad idea, since those things could easily draw blood). Size is about 1 3/8" tall by 1 1/4" wide, with a "puffed" depth of about 1/4" exclusive of fittings. The "Sterling" hallmark is present, suggesting American origin (despite the French motif). Condition is almost miraculous, given the delicacy of high-grade silver.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Rococo Revival Painted Portrait Earrings c 1850

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1900   item# 321863

Rococo Revival Painted Portrait Earrings c 1850
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


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These exquisite antique dangle earrings are highly unusual and beyond-belief romantic. Each features the image of an aristocratic 18th century beauty - the sort painted by Fragonard and Corot, complete with powdered hair, ruffles, flowers and bows. The portraits show no signs of transfer dots, so appear hand-painted. In fact, the earring fronts seem entirely hand-made, based on variations in the size of the ivory or early plastic cabochon drops and their wide, beaded-edge casings, as well in the position of the portraits. The open filigree cutwork backs which provide a "ruffled" edge around the earring bottoms, may possibly have been stamped (a process that began around the mid-19th century) and then hand-assembled.

These details indicate probable dating as the 1840-1860 Rococo Revival Period. "Modern" kidney-shaped earwires didn't appear until the 1870s, but those could easily have been added later. So many variations in fabrication really wouldn't exist in 20th century jewelry, ruling out the idea that they're Victorian Revival pieces from the 1920s or 1930s. Originally I thought they were fairly recent, given their superb condition. To notice any flaws, apart from slight rippling of one casing, requires very close inspection. Even under high magnification, only age-appropriate surface scratching is evident.

While I'm no jeweler, the absence of tarnish (except in a few worn spots on the reverses) leads me to believe the mountings are of unmarked silver heavily plated with rhodium or another hard-wearing metal in the platinum family. And I believe the cabochons are of natural ivory, based on "tubelike" structures that resemble long lines and disappear when they're rotated. Likely origin is French, based both on style and the fact that the ear wires have security clasps; provenance is a Deep South estate; and overall size is about 1 3/4" x 3/4". Despite their impressive size, they're surprisingly light and comfortable to wear.

As you know if you follow fashion news, dangle earrings with an antique look are all the rage now. Why not wear (or give) the Real Thing, especially when it's less expensive *and* sure to rise in value? I just saw several made-yesterday reproductions in a retailer's catalog that are only glass and silver and yet cost as much as $250.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is also free whenever desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!



Victorian Sterling Cufflinks, 4 Blister Pearls

Catalogue: Archives: Estate Jewelry: Silver: Victorian: Pre 1910   item# 129925

Victorian Sterling Cufflinks, 4 Blister Pearls
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GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
505.205.1404


Sold; thank you! 

Price of $165 includes insured shipping anywhere in the U.S.

This rare and spectacular pair of antique cuff links *screams* Arts and Crafts, both in the maker's choice of such unusual stones and in the style of their settings. Probable dating is Late Victorian or Edwardian, circa 1900 - 1910. The first cultured blister (and spherical) pearls date from the 1890's, when French scientist Louis Bouton began his work with abalone pearl cultivation. His remarkably shaped and colored "blister" pearls quickly captured the imaginations of innovative jewelry designers. Each pearl, BTW, took about two years to cultivate.

These highly collectible links are in exceptional condition and could be worn with equal panache by a man or a woman. Perhaps the two of you would like to share them. Of good size, their fronts measure 7/8" x 5/8". Backs are slightly smaller, since those two pearls have simple bezel mountings. Sterling hallmark is present on each.

We never charge extra for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!


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