Dainty lavalier pendants with one or more dangling drops, usually baroque pearls, are quintessentially Edwardian. Those with two drops that fall to different lengths are also called négligée pendants (a reference to the raffishly asymmetrical look, not to nightwear).
This is a particularly lovely and unusual example, being formed as a butterly and richly enameled. Enameled butterfly brooches were popular from Victorian times, but the motif isn't often seen on a necklace. Also remarkable is the fine condition of its enamelwork and gilding. It can't have been worn much and was stored with care.
Five vivid colors appear in the cloisonné enamelwork -- cobalt blue, violet, red, burgundy and green -- making this an accessory you can wear with almost anything. Since each shade requires separate firing, a great deal of work went into its creation. The gilded metal is hallmarked "silver" (rather than the later 925) and the pearls are real -- gritty when run against the front teeth, not smooth like glass or plastic. That they're suspended from fancy-link chains also signifies quality and age. There may originally have been a neck chain with matching links, but chains tend to break or get lost over time. We include a vintage chain that's an acceptable match for color and scale, although not as old as the pendant. Wearing it on a bright ribbon would be another pretty option.
The pendant measures 3/4" wide and 1 3/4" long and reached us from a California estate. The 18" chain is from a New England collection.
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