GlitzQueen Antique and Vintage Jewelry
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1837 VR item #1113367
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This remarkable antique stickpin features the head of the god Mercury (Hermes in Greek parlance), who wore a winged hat and served as messenger of the gods, bringer of dreams and patron of travelers. Items with themes from Greco-Roman mythology are tricky to date, since there have been several major Classical Revivals in the past few hundred years. Because the god's image isn't idealized in the Victorian manner and the pin's construction suggests an early dating, I've concluded it's Georgian (and more likely 18th than early 19th century). The stylized profile anticipates Art Deco, but the pin's construction isn't right for that dating, nor is the scale. It's less than an inch tall and its head measures about 15mm (5/8") round. (I say "about", because it isn't a perfect circle, being hand-wrought.)

The material appears to be gilt bronze and the detailing is marvelous. Condition, as you see, is exceptional relative to age. While its original owner would have been a gentleman, who needed pins to secure the voluminous neckcloths that protected shirts not washed often, this jewel is suitable for either a man or a women today and will add a striking note of antiquity to any lapel, necktie ot scarf.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1800 item #1037946
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$325
reduced from $425.
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Greatly detailed and flawless, this cameo from a Boston estate was hand-carved in high relief from one piece of sardonyx (showing white on a tea-colored ground, when held to light). The jewel measures 3 inches long, with a setting that tests at 10K gold.

Interestingly, the pretty lady's features seem quite real, rather than idealized, so I believe it was produced as a portrait and likely worn by her husband to secure the voluminous neckcloths worn by fashionable gentlemen in this era. The wealthiest visitors to Italy, often on their honeymoon trips, did have portrait cameos made there. The generic cameos produced later, usually of shell, were for the mass market.

Probable dating circa 1770-90 derives from the subject (wearing a typically late 18th century fichu and hairstyle), the textured pattern on the pin and the fact that the cameo is diminutive and of hardstone, not shell.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1837 VR item #352023
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$365

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These exquisite matching antique bracelets were sold to me as mid-Victorian "wedding bracelets," but the extreme simplicity of their closure argues for a pre-Victorian dating - perhaps even 18th century Georgian, and certainly no later than Regency or William IV. In fact matching bracelets were extremely popular between 1800 and 1830. In the case of these, the "mechanism" is obviously early - consisting only of three keyhole-shaped slots and a teensy but powerful prong, with a slide that adds extra security. Frankly, I've never before seen one of these prong-type bracelets with its slide still in place, let alone TWO of them!

The charming decorative motif, as you see, is an intricate floral and foliate design. The slightly rosy golden metal appears to be gold-filled (thus far more durable than if it were merely gilded). Because the bracelets adjust to fit three positions, they'd be a marvelous gift for a girl who's still growing - something she could enjoy now and forever. They're pleasantly lightweight and easy for anyone to wear. At their smallest, they'd fit child-sized wrists and, when fastened in the outer slot, most small- to average-sized women would be able to wear them.

From a Boston area estate, these bracelets are in astounding condition relative to age. Width is about 7/8" inches and the shape is slightly oval, which is really far more suitable to the human arm than round. Not only wonderfully wearable, these are true investment jewels you'll never regret owning, especially at this incredibly low price for a such a rare matching pair. They're even signed, BTW, bearing the mark "W G W & Co" -- but unfortunately I haven't yet been able to find out anything about the maker. We recently offered a single bracelet very much like these at $225 and it didn't have a slide, so our price for this pair is an exceptional value.

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All Items : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Pre Victorian : Pre 1837 VR item #127815
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
$335
reduced from $395.
Free U.S. Shipping & Gift Wrap if Desired.
Our impressive intaglio brooch features the head of a Trojan War hero (perhaps Achilles), unless I miss my guess. Remember the phrase "long-haired Achaeans" from Homer? Those look like curls at the base of his helmet!

As a Greek Revival piece, the jewel likely dates from the Late Georgian or Regency period. It was in 1806, when Lord Elgin brought pieces of the Parthenon from Athens to London, that the English passion for the purity of Greek design was ignited. Like the intaglio, exquisitely carved from extremely dark amber, the construction of this piece has a very early look: It's built up architecturally, in layers, with abundant detail. There's a small hook on the crossbar at the back, for hanging a watch, another jewel or chatelaine items.

I'm not sure about the underlying metal, since most of the rose gold gilding remains intact, but it's most likely silver since that's the color of the clasp hook. The other side of the clasp is absolutely fascinating: the pin hinge is encased in a sort of tulip form. There are signs that the pin stem has been shortened; it's blunter than you'd expect and under magnification looks a little ragged on the end. This was commonly done to save bloodshed, after women stopped wearing layers of heavy underclothing.

The intaglio measures a little larger than 1/2" square and its condition is excellent. Overall size of the brooch is about 1-3/4" by 1-1/4" and its condition is very good. Please note that the left ball-shaped cap is missing on the long horizontal piece. No doubt a competent jeweler could easily replace it. If the brooch were perfect, of course it would cost a great deal more, given the superlative quality of the intaglio.

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