Here's a vision of sugarplums, for sure! Our whopping 50-inch necklace is made of candy-colored beads shaped like salt water taffy logs! However, this luscious strand of sweetness is far from a typical seaside souvenir. It's a high-end piece featuring artfully cut and polished natural agates that weigh nearly 83 grams (414 carats). Their shades evoke the flavors of banana, blueberry, cherry, lime, grape and huckleberry. Each about 3/4 of an inch long, they're individually knotted like fine pearls, on thread so sturdy I'd call it twine if it were nubby. Being smooth, this soft cocoa-colored fiber seems comparable to the heavy wool floss used for crewelwork embroidery. The stones' sheen is so pronounced that a special finish may have been applied, plus possibly hand-painted accents.
Given that the necklace is of such high quality, my speculation is that it was a honeymoon gift to a bride who stayed at one of the grand Atlantic beach resorts operating from late Victorian times through the Edwardian and Art Deco eras. That was also the heyday of salt water taffy -- so many a new husband surely gave "sweets to the sweet" in the form of jewelry concocted by clever local artisans.
We date the jewel circa 1925-1935 and a clasp right for the period is present -- although, on a strand more than four feet long, you'll probably never use it. Clearly, this is a necklace that will go beautifully with anything and it can be looped double or triple to suit any neckline. Provenance is a Massachusetts estate.
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