GlitzQueen Antique and Vintage Jewelry
All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Scandinavian : Pre 1930 item #1163799
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This charming little treasure has led me on quite a chase. It struck me initially as a Scottish “luckenbooth” brooch from the early 19th century, and I could easily have let the issue lie right there – EXCEPT for its tantalizing row of hallmarks obscured by heavy tarnish. Normally, I defer to the purists among us and leave things in as-found condition, but in this case my curiosity got the best of me.

Lo and behold, those hallmarks told an entirely different story once they were restored to legibility! The brooch isn’t Scottish at all, but Scandinavian – crafted in Sweden and at least 100 years younger than suggested by its style, size and details of fabrication (T-hinge, open C clasp and thick, elongated pinstem).

It apparently dates from 1928, old enough to be antique by American 75-year standards, but it’s of a form consciously preserved without change for hundreds of years, in the same tradition as folkloric costumes. Again as with costumes (and worn with them on special occasions), these crowned heart jewels show minor differences from region to region and somewhat greater variations from nation to nation; for instance, the Norwegian version typically features filigree and the Scottish variation usually lacks dangling drops and may feature two hearts intertwined.

How Scotland got involved in all of this is simply a matter of geography becoming history, as it tends to do. Being just a short sail away in Viking days, much of Scotland fell under Norse rule and colonization created a Norse-Gael culture which is still reflected in many names and customs. As I was reminded by my research, the last Norse-held territory wasn’t ceded until the time of James III of Scotland, who married a Norwegian princess in 1468. Funnily enough, crowned heart brooches were soon (if not already) being sold as love tokens from lockable booths (so-called luckenbooths), located along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile from the 15th century until 1817.

That said, you’ll acquire a wonderful conversation piece, if you acquire this brooch which looks so utterly Georgian and Scottish but isn’t. Size is 1 ¾ inches by ¾, but it seems bigger, being sturdily built, with a nice heft to it, and extremely eye-catching due to the drops that dance with every motion.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Arts and Crafts : Pre 1910 item #1113588
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This spectacular antique ring features a beautifully translucent large cabochon of dendritic agate -- the type with dark inclusions resembling ice crystal, also called mocha stone. It's collet-set in a sleek Arts & Crafts mounting of sterling silver that will please either a gentleman or a lady who favors bold forms. The ring's face is large, but not overpowering (not quite 3/4" tall)and stylized decorations on each side show the slight variations that demonstrate hand-craftsmanship.

These so-called "fancy" agates were highly prized in Late Victorian and Edwardian times. They suited the taste for unusual gems that we see in both Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts jewelry, along with their emphasis on artistic design and meticulous workmanship. The new ideal was for everything to be special and unique in some ways, as opposed to the mass-produced goods of the Industrial Revolution. Ultimately this worthy movement died of its own good taste. The insistence on ultra-fine fabrication priced most people out of the market.

The maker in the present instance, Clark & Coombs of Providence, R.I., is a perfect illustration of that. Established in 1862, C & C had a national reputation for gold and silver rings by the early 20th century and tried to carry on without further mechanization, but was unable to compete effectively. Although the firm still exists, it was taken over by new management and modernized for greater output after World War II.

It's wonderful when we find an example of their exquisite early creations. Most likely this ring dates from between 1890 and 1910. While the basic shape of the setting was used through much of the 19th century, the very clean lines of its ornamentation anticipate Art Deco, which began to evolve around the turn of the century. Its interior bears a "Sterling" hallmark and the C&C stamp used until 1915 (two Cs in triangles around a stylized ampersand tilting right).

Based on all these facts, it really isn't stretching a point to say that this ring has historical importance. It's also distinguished by being in near-mint condition, despite great age. Provenance is a Pacific Northwest estate and the current size, about a U.S. 8 - 8.5, can be easily altered, since the back of the shank is plain.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #1113311
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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The gracefully stylized heart form of this lovely stickpin, with its slight asymmetry, dates it firmly to the Art Nouveau era -- and it's almost certain to be a Victorian jewel, since it isn't marked but tests as 10k gold. (Hallmarks weren't mandated in the U.S. until the Edwardian era.)

The almandine-shaped stone of rich purple is gorgeously faceted and appears to be genuine amethyst. After a century, glass would be abraded, whereas the gem shows hardly any wear, even under high magnification. As the stone's setting is open at the back, we know the color is natural, without foil enhancement.

Length of the pin is 2 1/4 inches and the heart measures about 5/8 inch by half an inch. Condition, as you see, is lovely in every way. Even the stock shows no waviness, which is quite rare. Provenance of this treasure is a Midwestern estate.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Victorian : Pre 1910 item #1109825
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Very finely crafted with ornate ends and edges, this antique bar pin is of sterling silver (unmarked but tested), set with sparkling amethyst, peridot and diamond pastes. That it's sterling is quite remarkable for a Suffragette item; typically these are either totally costume or top end, made of gold and gems.

Complementing the beautiful metalwork, the stones here are excellent pretenders, especially the 16 fancy-cut amethysts channel-set in groups of four. Every stone appears original. Another nod to unusual quality is the early safety lever fitted on the C clasp. This is a type that dates from the 19th century, as is the hinge with its slight sideways wobble. The pinstem, originally elongated, was snipped to a less hazardous length at some time, as is common with brooches this old. Either Late Victorian or Edwardian, it reached us from a Florida estate. Likeliest dating would be 1900-1910.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Costume : Rhinestone : Pre 1910 item #1109724
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This antique Suffragette brooch is among largest I've seen, proudly featuring the colors so important to early feminists: green, white and violet, the first letters of which stood for "Give Women (the) Vote". Green also represented hope; white signified the purity of their intentions; and violet was a reference to dignity ("the royal purple").

Here, in a highly dimensional, domed mounting of gilt filigree, two inches round, a huge cabochon of amethyst paste is framed by a panoply of faux moonstones and jade sets, also cabochon-cut. These are wonderful stones, almost certainly Bohemian (technically Czech, if made after World War I).

As you know if you collect Suffragette jewelry, it was worn from Victorian times until around 1920 in the U.S. and nearly 1930 in the U.K. Dating the jewels can be a puzzle, because of this and also because they usually show little wear. Most women wore them only occasionally to meetings and marches, then tucked them away after the vote was gained.

In the case of this brooch, which is in such lovely condition you could almost mistake it for new, we can rule out the Edwardian era based on size. Edwardian jewels tended to be delicate and airy, as you know, and they often featured white metals. Thus, it must be Victorian or post-World War I. Obviously it has a Victorian look and shows both Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts influences, but some Victorian styles were revived in the 1920s. Either way, it would be antique by American 75-year standards. I'm persuaded to a circa 1900 dating, based on the findings. The safety clasp is of the type introduced around 1890, with two levers instead of one; the hinge is the old 19th century type, which lets the pinstem wobble a bit from side to side; and the pinstem shows evidence of being snipped and filed down at some time -- not a bad idea since the extra-long ones could so easily draw blood, which is why they phased out during the earliest years of the 20th century and seldom appeared after World War I.

This is a very substantial brooch, so it's something you'd want to wear on a jacket or coat rather than delicate fabrics. The original idea must have been for it to appear on outerwear during women's marches and to be big enough for onlookers not to miss. It may well have been present at the historic female suffrage parades in New York City, being from a New York estate.

Forgotten for decades, Suffragette jewelry has been rapidly gaining value since the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" appeared in 2004, revealing what the gals went through (including hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they're getting much harder to find. We try our best to maintain a good selection, but demand keeps growing. The last time we had a Suffragette brooch of truly grand scale and in pristine condition, it quickly found its way into the collection of Madeleine Albright (former Secretary of State and author of "Read My Pins"), who often made diplomatic statements via the brooch she chose to wear.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. There's no charge for insured U.S. Priority shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery. Gift-wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Strands : Pre 1920 item #1080618
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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When you see green, white and violet together on historic jewelry, this unusual color combination usually signifies that the piece was owned by a member of the Suffragette movement. To them, the first letters of these colors stood for Give Women (the) Vote.

Here that message resounds in a beautiful rope-like necklace, lovingly woven of white, violet and green beads -- hundreds or perhaps thousands of them. At 38 inches long, it doesn't need a clasp. The necklace drapes beautifully and, despite its thickness, is very light and comfortable to wear. The beads look like celluloid, but may be some other early plastic.

Woven necklaces of this type were popular from Late Victorian through Edwardian times and into the early years of the Art Deco era. Ours comes from an Illinois estate in wonderful condition. It can't have been worn much -- probably because it was made very shortly before the vote was granted and then tucked away as a memento. I expect it was created between 1910 and 1920, possibly by its original owner or as a gift for her from a friend or family member. Ladies of this era were highly skilled at handicrafts and publications offered them lots of ideas and instructions. We recently sold a necklace of the very same pattern but only 28 inches in length, which reinforces the notion that this design may have appeared in a popular magazine.

All Suffragette jewelry has been rocketing in price since the 2004 TV movie "Iron Jawed Angels" revealed what the gals went through (arrests, hunger strikes and beatings). Wearing Suffragette jewels is a great way to show your pride and appreciation and, now that the genre has been rediscovered, they have serious investment value, too.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Deco : Pre 1940 item #1043712
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This gracefully shaped filigree ring of yellow gold has an Edwardian delicacy, but most likely dates from around 1930-1935, still in the the Art Deco era but after the crash of 1929.

"Depression Deco" jewels are less lavish than styles from the 1920s, but they can be very pretty, indeed. Piercework and textures were used artfully to make the most of less gold and provide sparkle without gemstones. This is a refreshing look today, when many of us also crave elegant simplicity instead of extravagance.

Marked 10K, this beauty from a Midwestern estate also bears the letters AF JC - probably the initials of bride and groom but possibly a maker's stamp. Currently a U.S. size 6, it's in splendid condition, ready to celebrate its next love story.

BTW, wedding rings of this chevron shape, which dips below the base of the finger, are particularly pretty on small hands - creating the illusion of greater finger length. When worn with an engagement ring, the solitaire can sit lower on the knuckle, being nestled into the band's scalloped top.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Pre 1940 item #1038613
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This antique blue spinel ring has a hypnotic effect, like gazing through the sheen of sunlight into deep, deep water. It's more than an inch tall, about 3/8 of an inch wide and stunningly faceted. Getting photos was a major challenge, due to the gem's mirror-like luster and elaborate marquise cut.

Many people mistakenly believe spinels are synthetics, when actually they're among the hardest and loveliest natural gemstones. In their most common red version, they've been frequently confused with rubies. For instance, the famous "Black Prince's Ruby" in the British Imperial State Crown turned out to be a spinel. Being blue, this is a rare spinel to begin with, and its ultra-rich color and size add to the rarity.

Another fascinating attribute of this ring is the convergence of Arts and Crafts and Art Deco style currents. The setting, appropriately for such a fancy-shaped stone, is simple, graceful and more than likely hand-made. Ornamented with only a couple of silver beads and a bit of engraving on the sides, the mount has a distinctly Arts and Crafts look. However, an early Arts and Crafts piece probably would have a plain cabochon stone, rather than a towering geometric shape suggesting Art Deco. Based on the blend of design influences, I believe it was made around 1930, so it's already antique by American 75-year standards.

Condition of the jewel is lovely. It takes a 10X loupe to notice any flaws at all and, even then, signs of age-appropriate wear are very minor. Markings inside the band are "Sterling Shank" and a maker's mark I haven't been able to interpret. It's a "V" over a horizontal diamond shape. If that means anything to you, please let us know.



The ring came from a New York estate, where the seller noted, "Blue spinel brings peace." I don't know about that, but this one is sure to bring a lot of pleasure.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Ethnic : Pre 1940 item #1038494
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This spectacular cuff bracelet combines gleaming bands of repousse brasswork with two large curved pieces of horn, heavily black-lacquered. Its scale is impressive: almost an inch and a half wide. Obviously hand-crafted, it has the old-style peg closure. Probable dating is circa 1925-1935, so this piece is already antique, not merely vintage, by American 75-year standards.

The bracelet's interior diameter is about 2.5 inches by 2.25 inches (slightly oval), making it perfect for a small to medium wrist, up to about 7 inches. (Even I can wear it without its falling off my hand, although with lots of extra room around my silly 5-inch wrist).

In amazing condition, considering its age and travels, this treasure shows only age-appropriate surface wear on close inspection. In those areas, we glimpse a reddish color beneath the black finish; this must have been the the first step in the lacquer process, being similar to the underlying red that gives depth to gold leafing.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Strands : Pre 1940 item #1038429
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Very briefly in the early 20th century, the Pueblo Deco style appeared as a fusion of Native American artwork with Art Deco design. Its legacy is largely architectural, including such cultural treasures as Albuquerque's KiMo Theatre. Authentic jewels from the era are rare and highly collectible.

A wonderful example is this antique necklace from the 1920s or early 1930s, which has Flapper Girl tassels and also evokes the Egyptian Revival style popular at the time. Iridescent green glass beads add vivid accents to the sophisticated white and black pattern that finishes with a graceful 3 ½-inch tassel. The necklace would have been made by an artisan in New Mexico, which was then being popularized as 'The Land of Enchantment' by enterprising hoteliers and the Santa Fe Railroad. As you see, it's still in lovely condition.

A similar necklace is pictured on page 85 of "Collectible Costume Jewelry ID and Value Guide" by S. Sylvia Henzel and was valued at $175 some years ago.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Pre 1940 item #1037984
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Carved from beautifully grained ivory, this elegant brooch is a highly sculptural form suggesting a feather fan or palm frond. The stylized design is pure Art Deco -- so, by American 75-year standards, the brooch is already antique, not merely vintage.

Based on its immaculate condition and the modern fastener that's obviously a recent addition, I expect the carving spent decades as a display piece before becoming a jewel. Of impressive size, it measures about 2.5 inches long and 1.75 inches wide. Provenance is a Florida estate and origin is most likely Asian.

As you know, ivory is becoming rarer by the day, due to entirely appropriate regulations in place since 1972. Prices are rising accordingly, so this item represents an extraordinary value.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1910 item #1037939
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Stunningly sculptural, this wonderful ring combines the flowing curves and organic floral forms of Art Nouveau with a hint of Arts & Crafts influence, evident in the simplicity of its layered openwork construction. It's fascinating when those design currents intersect, as they sometimes did around a hundred years ago.

The ring's face measures a knuckle-covering inch in each direction, so this is a jewel that can't possibly be overlooked. Its material is obviously silver, rich with time's patina. That the metal is unmarked suggests American origin, since silver hallmarks weren't required here until shortly before World War I. If you prefer a brighter finish, I hope you'll just polish the high points with a jeweler's cloth and leave the patinated depths dark for drama. Condition is superb, provenance is a Texas estate and current size is about a US 5.5. It appears to have been resized once before, so can easily be altered again at the same junction.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Gold : Deco : Pre 1930 item #1035297
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This ring of white gold filigree by the legendary Belais Brothers features a wonderful fancy-cut cobalt glass gem that's bluer than sapphires. With a highly dimensional domed shape that's exquisitely faceted, it shows only slight wear under high magnification, which is very rare for glass of this age. In gorgeous condition, with crisp gold filigree, the ring comes from a New England estate and is currently about a U.S. size 5 (easily adjusted by your jeweler, since the back of the shank isn't ornamented). Its oval face measures about 1/2" x 1/2". The famous hallmark BELAIS - accompanied by the 10K stamp, in this case - can still be read easily.

When you own an antique jewel marked BELAIS, quite simply you own the best of the best. Their process for creating white gold jewelry was so far superior to others' that the patent held until the company's demise in 1929. This ring is a particularly affordable example of their artistry. If it held a precious stone, of course the cost would be enormously higher - and you might consider replacing it with something natural.

This is an investment-quality piece dating from circa 1920 and, at our price, you're really paying only for the beautiful gold setting.

Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos of this and/or our other fine BELAIS pieces - including cufflinks, a breathtaking watch and a wedding band. There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Modernism : Pre 1970 item #1030491
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Here's a stunning jewel for those who'd rather be sailing. Clearly from the mid-20th century Modernist era, this hand-crafted brooch has a Scandinavian look, but I haven't yet been able to identify its designer. His or her stamp is an oval containing letters that seem to be L O; if that means anything to you, please tell me. The piece is also hallmarked Sterling.

Measuring a substantial 2 inches by 1.5 inches, this beauty came from an estate in Maine. With apologies to the purists among us, I couldn't resist giving it a light polish, so the beautiful details can be properly seen.

Please e-mail erinharris@comcast.net to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Victorian : Pre 1900 item #1016381
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This antique silver gilt brooch is wonderfully elaborate, featuring seven rose-cut diamond pastes, golden yellow enamelwork and such a wealth of detail that you can tell the ship is a carrack (as opposed to a galleon, caravel or cog) sporting the Scottish flag, a St. Andrew's Cross.

As museums opened across Europe in the 19th century, people flocked to marvel at the treasures of the past -- and then they wanted the look for themselves. That led to a series of historical revivals, including Classical, Gothic, Baroque and Rococo, as well as Renaissance. This particular example evokes the 16th century, when monarchs vied to build the greatest of "great ships" for expanding navies bent on conquest. Obviously, the impulse struck just the right note again in Victorian times, when the British Empire enjoyed "sun never sets on it" size -- because Britannia ruled the waves, of course.

Measuring about an inch wide by 1.25 inches tall, the brooch has an old open C clasp and the type of hinge introduced around 1870. The pinstem would have been elongated originally, but got shortened sometime later in the interest of safety. Condition is quite nice, with only one tiny ding in the enamel and age-appropriate loss of silver gilt (mainly on the reverse). All stones remain brilliant and appear original. Although it reached us from a Colorado estate, the brooch certainly originated in Europe, most likely in the British Isles.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. I'm always happy to send larger images that will give you a clearer view. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Strands : Pre 1970 item #1010519
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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This sensational vintage strand measures a whopping 56" in length - almost five feet - and features chunky free-form beads of royal blue and clear art glass, strung between white enameled metal links half an inch long. It's signed MRWE on a gold-colored metal tag shaped like a question mark or whistle. The workmanship is exceptional, condition is fabulous and most likely dating would be late 1960s (the first Art Deco Revival period).

The length of this necklace is so lavish that you could even wear it beautifully as a belt!

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail erinharris@comcast.net to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!
All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Costume : Designer : Pre 1950 item #1007974
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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Want a ring with bling? Here you go! This vintage beauty is a real show-stopper, with a setting that sparkles almost as much as the monster stone does.

The oval-cut glass sapphire is 3/4" tall and its highly detailed floral mounting is of high-shine rhodium or chromium (durable, tarnish-free metals in the platinum family). Probable dating is Retro (1935-1950); condition is lovely, with minimal surface wear; provenance is a New York estate; and size is about a 5 to 5.5. We usually state sizes as a range, because results from different types of measuring equipment can vary up to half a size, as our fingers also do with the time of day and temperature.

The Uncas maker mark in use since around 1920 -- a U with an arrow through it -- is stamped on the shank's interior. Earlier pieces feature the U between two arrows.

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All Items : Archives : Estate Jewelry : Silver : Art Nouveau : Pre 1920 item #1007452
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
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If you don't mind being noticed (and envied), this large and spectacular antique ring is meant for you. It's a knuckle-covering 1 1/4 inches tall and 3/4 of an inch wide at leaf level.

The design, as you see, is enchanting. Marcasite "dewdrops" nestle among the rose petals and their shape is echoed by round embossing on the leaves. Edges and shoulders are lovingly detailed, as well. Naturally this was the creation of a master, namely Vincent Sorrentino, an Italian immigrant who formed Uncas Manufacturing Company in Rhode Island in 1911. The turn of the twentieth century in America attracted many talented artisans and jewelers from Italy, who were instrumental in the development of the American fine and costume jewelry industry. The Uncas "U" between two arrows (their earliest mark) appears inside the ring, along with the Sterling stamp. We occasionally see this ring with the later maker mark (a U with an arrow running through it), since the design's popularity lingered into the post-World War One era.

The rivoli-cut marcasites normally smooth after this long, but these are still sharply pointed for maximum dazzle. Overall condition is lovely -- as fine as our previous one like it, which sold within days -- so, if this strikes your fancy, it would be smart not to delay.

Present size (easily changed) is about a US 5.25 and provenance is a New York estate.

There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping (with an equivalent discount for international delivery) and gift wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail erinharris@comcast.net to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!