Victorian 1860

Magnificent Antique Gold and Coral Fringe Necklace

A wonderful antique gold and coral fringe necklace c.1860s, the necklace formed of a finely woven gold chain set alternately with tiny gold flower motifs and bouton shaped pieces of polished precious coral in a deep rich pinkish orange colour, these suspending beneath them a hinged articulated knife edge gold bar terminating in a double scroll motif and coral bouton whilst beneath the gold flowers are similar but longer knife edge bars, with large corals beneath and also set with a second smaller piece of coral midway along the bar, all to a concealed tongue and box clasp. This beautiful necklace is reminiscent of the very finest coral jewellery made in Italy and highly sought after during the 19th century. Italian coral has a long history and was considered of the highest quality with goldsmiths often using this beautiful organic material in their jewels. The pieces in this necklace have been beautifully matched for colour and quality and have been cut and polished by an expert hand. Pieces like this were popular souvenirs for the aristocracy and nobility who travelled Italy as part of The Grand Tour and it has survived in marvellous condition, ready to be worn for another 160 years.

Further Details

Gemstones and Other Materials88 x round polished coral boutons
Condition ReportVery fine
Setting18ct Gold with French control mark to tongue of clasp
Weight description108 grams
Dimensions39cm / 15.3" long
Drops graduated from 2.5cm / 1" at centre back to 4cm / 1.6" centre front
PeriodVictorian, circa 1860
OriginProbably Italian
SKU125565

Directors Notes

This beautiful fringe necklace is a wonderful example of the very finest gold and coral jewellery from the Victorian era. It is in the popular mid-19th century archaeological revival style and has been wrought in the most beautiful and skilfully worked gold with Etruscan inspired design. Details such as the finely woven chain, delicate flowers and tiny scrolls recall the quality and style of Italian master goldsmiths of the period such Castellani and Melillo. As with all exceptional jewellery, care has been taken over the appearance of the reverse of this necklace as evidenced by the little gold flower details to the back of the coral boutons. Coral, or Corallium Rubrum to give this prized orangey red variety its proper name, has long been associated with Italy and the coastal city of Naples in particular. Diving for coral in the Mediterranean Sea dates back to Roman times when it was believed that coral could heal wounds, cure infertility and diagnose diseases. However, it was as a protective charm against evil, especially for children, that it was most highly revered. By the 15th century, Naples and especially the port area known as Torre del Greco had become renowned for the harvesting and processing of fine quality material. The industry grew so large that during the mid 1800s, almost two thousand boats were sailing daily to fish for coral in order to satisfy the demand for this precious gem. Nineteenth century Italian goldsmiths often used this beautiful organic material in their jewels and we see it carved into cameos and amulets as well as polished into beads and cabochons. All the pieces in this necklace have been beautifully matched for colour and quality and have been cut and polished by an expert hand. Likely to have been made in either Rome or Naples, pieces like this were popular souvenirs for the aristocracy and nobility who travelled through Europe on what became known as The Grand Tour. It has survived in marvellous condition and is ready to be given a new home and worn and enjoyed for another 160 years.

£65,000.00

1 in stock

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