A very fine 18K gold brooch/pendant in the form of a mythological basilisk (cockatrice) pierced through with a jeweled sword. This example is entirely handmade and finished with expertly chased scales and feathers. The quality of workmanship is superb. The wings are formed separately and arranged in a manner that gives the piece great dimensionality. The outer wing is set with a round ruby of very fine color and clarity and the eye is set with a tiny cabochon ruby. The hilt of sword is set with seed pearls with a natural oval pearl at the tip. The gold surfaces have a slightly matte Russian finish. The back retains the original clasp, large watch hook and pendant loop. Many would call this creature a griffin, but with its body of a serpent and with head and wings of a bird, it is more properly considered a basilisk or cockatrice. Such creatures were popular in the late Victorian era. There is a possibility that the back is marked with a script signature, but it is far too difficult to be certain. Tested and guaranteed 18K.
Origin: probably America, ca. 1880. Condition: excellent, sharp detail, all original. Dimensions: 40 x 40 mm (1-1/2 x 1-1/2 in). Weight: 13.2 gr. Approximate Total Ruby Weight: .15 ct.