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Superb Cut Steel Necklace

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Directory: Estate Jewelry: Other Metals: Pre 1837 VR: item # 1075717

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Glorious Antique Jewelry
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New York
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Superb Cut Steel Necklace
This exciting example of an early cut steel necklace is grand in scale and quality. It is rare to find a piece in this superb condition. English in origin the necklace was created in the late 18th century or early 19th century. The miniscule steel nail heads are faceted as were the gemstones of the period. In the candlelight of the Georgian era, the steel studs sparkled like diamonds. This work was done completely by hand usually by women whose hands were small and who commanded less pay than did men. Cut steel jewelry was work and time intensive. It was always expensive and could command as much or more money than gold. The jeweler worked on a piece with substantial time and effort. A design was first made from base metal. Tiny holes the size of a pin head were then punched into the base plates of copper or brass. With patience and skill, bits of steel nails were cut, faceted and polished to diamond brilliance. The jeweler riveted the brilliant bits one by one to the base plates. All this labor can be seen when you view the steel and turn the necklace over to study the back. Royalty and wealthy bought and wore steel jewelry. We read in "Georgian Jewelry" by Ginny Dawes and Olivia Collings that wealthy French In the mid 18th century turned their jewels over to the treasury and purchased cut steel. The finest early pieces are complex with many facets and layers. They are composed of dense clusters of atom sized studs. Superb condition. No rust.


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