A three dimensional flower is at the center of the neckline in this garland of iron. Alternate links are rosettes, and vines. Berlin Iron jewelry is a prized possession and has been since early 1800. It is light on the body, delicate in appearance, yet strong, This necklace was made of iron when Napoleon's persistence to expand his empire, drove the German treasury to ask citizens to turn in their gold for iron bringing money to the treasury to continue the war effort. Berlin Iron Jewelry brings us the history and lost art from a period over 200 years ago. Patriotic citizens gave gold for iron to support the integrity of their nation. Today it is a rare collectors item for museums and followers of historic jewelry. Excellent condition.
Where to begin describing an object so beautiful, and wearable at that? Wider than Berlin Iron bracelets I have found, this gothic lace cuff has an eight petal flower at the clasp, the back of which has the Geiss mark. All of the iron work is made of flower forms. Each link has a rosette at center from which long petals radiate north and south. Vines and leaves grow in the spaces of open worked iron. Small crosses of different styles can be seen here and there. A marvel of texture in lace like black, this bracelet was made during the period of the Napoleonic takeover attempt of Germany.
Aristocracy gave gold jewelry to be melted by the treasury and received iron jewels as reward for their patriotism which was much needed to support the war. Berlin Iron jewelry was always prized. Originally European upper class women wanted a piece brought to them from a duke or count traveling to Germany. Now the finest European museums hold collections and collectors of historic objects and antique jewelry lovers covet iron jewelry in fine condition. This bracelet is excellent in every way. It is the epitome of beauty and fine condition.
An extremely rare, dense Berlin Iron Chain c.1800 suspends a large cross of twists and loops. In the chain, the iron is woven or knit into strong, mesh. There is a similar example of this chain in Anne Clifford "Cut Steel and Berlin Iron" page 81. Berlin Iron, a scarce commodity, is one of our specialties. It originates from Germany when the treasury was low and money was needed for the war. Aristocrats, the only citizens who had gold jewelry, were asked to turn in their gold for iron. There followed acts of patriotism when the wealthy stepped forward and gave their gold jewelry for the nation's need. This giving of gold for iron was repeated during World War 1. Most Berlin Iron jewelry is in European museums. This example is in excellent condition and in its original black color. The chain measures 41 inches long. The magnificent cross adds 3 1/4 inches in length and 2 1/2 inches in width. It is suspended by a split ring and can be removed and worn alone.
An elegant. early Berlin Iron necklace that lays gracefully on the body as garlands of iron chain drape classical cameos around the neck. The mesh bands and cameos are finished with gold. Each cameo is an oval of approximately one inch in width. Pictured within the gold frames are cupid playing a lyre while seated on a running lion, a woman reclining in a chariot, and a staunch guard on horseback. A feminine and rare necklace of light weight, captivating inside an open crisp white shirt or worn for occasions. Perfect condition. Germany
As an investment, Berlin Iron is a class of jewelry that is as good as gold. It was made in the late 18th and early 19th century. The value of fine pieces has increased since its creation and continues to increase today.
This necklace of weightless and graceful leaves is a magnificent example of the genre. It was made by Geiss for the German people during the Napoleonic campaign, Germany was running out of money due to the long, hard war. The treasury turned to the people for help and requested aristocratic gold jewelry be donated for the war effort. In return, iron factories produced iron jewelry to give the donors for their patriotism. Artistry in iron bracelets,necklaces and earrings were made. Europeans outside of Germany wanted such jewels as well. Dukes and Counts were asked to bring back Berlin Iron for their lady friends. Today, Berlin Iron in perfect condition is scarce and in museum collections.
This necklace is a treasure. See the period of manufacture and this design documented in "Cut Steel and Iron Jewelry" written by Anne Clifford, page 73, plate III. It remains in perfect condition. Other examples of Berlin Iron can be found on this web site.
Few jewels from the early 1800's can be attributed to their creator. Perhaps it is because Berlin Iron is rare, and few examples are extent outside of museums, that it is possible to follow the workmanship of this pair and to attribute them to Schinkel, a great architect who was awarded multiple medals and honors by his country. As true of most Berlin Iron, these jewels were given as a replacement for the donation of gold to the german treasury. The earrings are weightless. Delicate and glamourous they appear to be lace. The telltale Schinkel form of a butterfly is at center while at bottom we see the girandole triple drops. All parts of the earrings are original making the pair museum worthy. Ear wires close in the front and at the client's request can be changed to shepherds hooks.
Berlin Iron jewelry has been expensive in Germany and has been increasing in value through the ages. Presently its value continues to escalate. In superb condition, Berlin Iron is an investment in the past and for the future as it is most rare indeed. There will not be more of this historic jewelry. At Glorious, we purchase the finest examples of 19th century Berlin Iron jewelry whenever we have the opportunity and only when it comes to us in fine condition. It is always exciting and always a treat when we acquire a piece. Most iron jewelry is on view in museums in Germany, France and in the Victoria and Albert in London. Berlin Iron jewels were made for citizens of Germany and later of France when they gave their gold for iron to support the treasury of their countries during the Napoleonic wars. These wars drained the countries of supplies and money. People were proud of their good citizenship. In Great Britain, iron jewelry was sought after, prized and considered au courant. We know that the peak of production seems to have been from 1813 to 1815. Once the war was over, the jewelry was desired for its beauty and its fashion. Production continued in the 19th century. Fine iron jewelry was dependent on the skill of the person who designed and made the individual molds. Good casting was required and the key to fine jewels. The pieces were sharpened in detail and then lacquered. The striking beauty depended on contrast of the positive and negative space. When worn on skin or over a white shirt or sweater sleeve, the patterns pop and are striking, beautiful and dramatic.
We have now two bracelets with oval iinks in which there is a flower and vine corsage. Iron ovals form semi circles around each larger oval frame. The classical iron cameo portrait clasps of Cupid and Psyche are encircled with the a related design. Winged Cupid carries a bow. Winged Psyche has long curled hair and a long goddess neck. This mythical couple has always been the symbol of the soul guided by love. The bracelets are generous in size and can be clasped together to form a choker. The condition is of both bracelets is superb. Germany. Measurements: Length: 7 3/4 inches each. Height of links 1 3/4 inches. Clasp is
2 inches high.
The iron vines interweave with each other to form the shape of these rare Berlin Iron earrings documented in the earliest research by Anne Clifford on page 83 of the book
"Cut Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellry". Iron jewelry such as this was made in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Napoleon's armies battled hard and long with
Germany in the desire to enlarge their empire. Both the German and French treasuries were greatly diminished and the war continued. The German Government went to the populace for gold, promising them iron jewelry in its place. Napoleon later stole the iron molds from German factories and ordered his jewelers to execute designs in iron jewelry.
The earrings are as light as earrings can be. They have their original ear wires that are inserted into the ear from the back and secured in the front. This makes it possible to slip the long teardrop off and wear only the top if wished. Add the bottom for drama. Such earrings are called appropriately day-night earrings. The ear wires can be changed to shepherds hooks as we wear today. The condition is perfect and original. Length 2 1/2 in Width 1/2 in.
Lace in iron describes the long Berlin Iron Chain pictured above. So fine and delicate is this necklace that one can see through all the links. The chain has the strength of iron yet is designed with openwork in between each solid line. The clasp is the sought after male and female hands in clasped position. Museums, collectors of this jewelry and followers of ours are well acquainted with this late 18th century to early 19th century genre of jewelry. It is very gratifying to be in a position to offer this important piece of history and in pristine condition at that. The length is a generous 48"long. The links point to point are 1/2 inch high.
The German and French treasuries were depleted due to the long war that occurred with Napolean's invasion of Germany. The German government went to the wealthy
and asked for support by means of turning their gold over for iron jewelry. German
foundries cast iron into bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings. Napolean sacked the art and the jewels and jewelry factories, and took the designs and molds for iron jewels to France where he then ordered his jewelers to make iron as was made in Germany. Berlin iron became cutting edge jewelry, though it was not made en masse and for the common folk. It's historic value is clear as is its rarity. Most fine Berlin Iron is in museums in europe. Iron rusts if not cared for. This chain and any historic iron we offer is pristine. There is no rust. The clasps are strong. It is original with no replacements. Wear it with pleasure. There is no concern with the exception of water coming in contact with it. Simply keep your Berlin Iron jewels away from dampness. Do not get them wet and they will continue to be part of jewelry history and for another 200 years giving happiness to whoever is the caretaker.
It was fun to find this quote when researching Berlin Iron: "Princess Charlotte of
Wales informed her friend "That Lord Castlereagh...had offered "to get me from Berlin if possible (for they are very difficult to be procured) one of the iron rings
that ladies wear there now instead of gold wedding ones and diamond hasps". (Shirley Bury, Jewellery 1789-1910) For information on Berlin Iron do see "Cut Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellery" by Shirley Bury, Georgian Jewelry by Ginny Dawes and
Olivia Collings and the aforementioned source by Shirley Bury. The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Rouen Museum, The Birmingham City Museum, The New Berlin
Museum and the Nordiska Museum have pieces of Berlin Iron Jewelry on exhibit.
Be they sunflowers, chrysanthemums or daisies, flowers they be along with buds, vines, and climbing leaves, all in one lush pair of earrings from the days of Napolean's march into Germany. This pair of earrings can be seen on page 23 of the marvelous expert book entitled "Georgian Jewelry".
The Napoleanic war caused disaster to both France and Germany and wiped out the nations treasuries. The government of Germany and later that of France, turned to their people for gold. Citizens turned in gold jewels for iron. We offer a rare example of Berlin Iron Jewelry. Though 200 years old, these earrings are amazing. It is amazing to have them intact and amazing that history comes to us in wearable form to care for and treasure. Iron earrings are extremely rare. Museums have iron jewelry, a few textbooks have examples, but even texts have very few photographs of ironwork earrings. Our earrings are mirrored at the bottom. Iron flowers add a cheerful touch to the mirrors and to the earrings at top. Georgian period earrings are most often made with wires that enter the ear from the back and lock in the front. We have had our expert jeweler change the ear wires to shepherds hooks as they are more comfortable for our American clients. This does not affect the value or rarity of the item.
The earrings measure 3 1/8 in long. At their widest point at the bottom, they are 1 inch wide. At the top buds, the width is 1/2 inch. Condition is Excellent.
Cut steel was valuable from the inception of its use in jewelry. This labor intensive example was completely executed by hand. Georgian period cut steel contains various sizes of nail heads. Each separate nail head has been multi- faceted like a tiny gem, polished to a shine, then riveted to a back frame that was punched with tiny holes to the jewelers pattern.
Small and smaller floral clusters, swags, and knots of cut steel rivets that symbolize eternity, culminate with teardrops of steel in a mirror polish. Each of the three pendant sections are loosely heart shaped.
In daylight or evening, faceted steel makes a romantic necklace that flickers like diamonds. Like Berlin Iron, is a rarity at this moment in time. Length 16 1/2 in. Height of most central loveknot is 1 10/16 in.
Steel, berlin iron, or silesian wire woven as if fabric, is the material of this pair of rare fine mesh bracelets which connect and become a delicate and seductive necklace. The material is so very light that it does not encumber the wrist or neck. Imagine making fine steel or berlin ironl strands, lighter than a butterfly wing, and weaving it into mesh or cutting tiny steel nailheads and faceting them as if they were gemstones. Steel was a highly valued commodity for centuries. Men wore intricate faceted steel buckles on their shoes in the 18th century. Jewelry for women came later. The workmanship was done bit by bit completely by hand. Even Napolean no slouch he, gave a steel parure to his second wife. Marie Louise. Although much of the history of steel or iron design has been established, we cannot always identify whether the jewelry originated in France or England. We know this pair of bracelets dates to the early 19th century, c. 1810. Their condition is perfect. The clasps are tight. One bracelet is smaller than the other by a fraction. It has the same pattern but it is worked more closely. They are a pair, nonetheless and display beautifully, as the slight variation adds interest as bracelets or as a necklace. The material appears to be lace. Measurements: Bracelet #1 is 7 1/4 in end to end and 1 1/16 wide. Bracelet #2 is 7 1/16th end to end and the same width. A single bracelet can be chosen for the price of $3300.
Our bracelet, in the gothic style, was created c.1830 and is French or German. In 1806, Napolean stole the iron molds from Germany. He took them to France and demanded that his jewelers make iron jewelry. The war depleted the treasuries of France and of Germany. Both nations asked their wealthy to turn in their gold jewels for iron. Thus proudly, Berlin iron was worn by the upper classes. It caught on in Europe as it is beautiful in and of itself, quite aside from its patriotic symbolism. We offer to you this remarkable and perfectly intact piece of an historic period. c.1810
It was great fun to find this quote when researching Berlin ironwork:
“... Princess Charlotte of Wales informed her friend ‘That Lord Castlereagh ... had offered ‘to get me from Berlin if possible (for they are very difficult to be procured) one of the iron rings that ladies wear there now instead of gold wedding ones and diamond hasps’”. (Shirley Bury. Jewellery 1789-1910)
We feature a remarkable pair of
Berlin Iron Bracelets; remarkable in rarity and in condition. While most
Berlin Iron jewelry is damaged after two hundred years, this pair of
bracelets have been well cared for. The bracelets are a combination of neoclassical and gothic design. They date to the early years of the 1800s or prior and were more than likely made in Berlin.
The beginnings of Berlin iron are not noted. There was a factory that produced it in Prussia in the late 1700s and in Berlin in 1804.
Napolean discovered Berlin Iron when he marched into Berlin in 1806. He greedily sacked the art from the city, including the molds for iron jewels. Bonaparte then took the molds to France where he demanded his jewelers make iron jewelry.
Our discovery of these bracelets was thrilling. The background of the classical head clasps is polished steel. Wear with eclat, one on each wrist, both on one wrist, or clasp them together and wear as a choker. IThey are not only a treasure of history but beautiful jewelry in their own right. Germany, c.1806. Very fine condition. Length is 3 3/4 inches, width is 2 1/4 inches.