Pendant – Brazilian Topaz Pendant

30022
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An antique early Victorian brooch modified into a pendant of gold-coloured die stamped construction. Featuring four yellow foil-backed¹ topazes of South America origin² in raised collet claw-set settings above baroque cuir roulé goldwork with repoussé and chasing³. Circa 1840-1850s.

£255.00
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Description

Pendant – Brazilian Topaz Pendant

An antique early Victorian brooch modified into a pendant of gold-coloured die stamped construction. Featuring four yellow foil-backed¹ topazes of South America origin² in raised collet claw-set settings above baroque cuir roulé goldwork with repoussé and chasing³. Circa 1840-1850s.

 

Details.

Measuring (excluding bale): 40.23mm x 25.64mm.

Unhallmarked: tested and valued as 18ct gold.

No stamps or markings observed.

Weight: 3.19g.

Condition: fair (some compressional damage to reverse).

 

Assessment of the Topazes (averages stated where applicable).

Three.

Cuts: oval eight-main brilliant-cut crowns over two-tiered step-cut pavilions.

Measuring approximately: 7.25mm x 5.25mm (depth immeasurable – setting is closed).

 

One.

Cut: rectangular cushion eight-main brilliant-cut crown over two-tiered step-cut pavilion.

Measuring: 8.70mm x 4.40mm.

Estimated total weight: 4.30cts.

 

Colour: pale yellow (2.5Y.4/9).

Clarity: VS.

 

£255.00.

                                                                                                                                                     

Comment(s).

¹. Until the end of the 18th century, it was common practice in Europe for all transparent stones set in closed settings to be backed by pure silver, gold, tin, or coloured foils from which light would be reflected through the stones crown to increase its colour intensity and brilliance. When foils are used, they are highly polished to increase their reflectivity. Foiling was also used by the setter in many cases where there was a large number of stones of the same species in the jewel to bring the colour to a good match. Necklaces of Brazilian topaz (of the nineteenth century), for example, often contain as many as 50 stones or more and to match as many stones as this by selection alone would clearly be very difficult (Peter Hinks, 'Nineteenth Century Jewellery', 1975). A piece large enough to fill the space is simply pressed into the bottom of the settings with a clean, dry, blunt ended punch. The foil is usually held in place with a little cement spread on its back. Alternatively, foil is sometimes pressed around the bottom surface of the stone which is then set. In a completely closed setting such as this, because the foil is sealed from atmospheric contact, and due to the nonoxidizing nature of the metal foil is used, the foil remains bright (Oppi Untracht, ‘Jewellery Concepts and Techniques’, 1982). However, the majority of stones prepared with foil will inevitably show some degree of deterioration.

². The end of the Napoleonic wars provided a safe seafaring route across the Atlantic. Now that the ocean routes were safe from privateers many semiprecious gemstones began to arrive in quantity, mostly from Brazil; topazes, amethysts, chrysoberyls and aquamarines. In the 1820s these semiprecious stones were first mounted in a kind of filigree work known as cannetille after a type of embroidery which it resembled. Later in the century, when baroque styling had captured jewellery design, these stones would invariably be seen in closed foiled settings.

³. The design was raised was raised in relief by hammering the gold from the back, and these machine-made parts were often refined with hand finished designs. Designs for this kind of gold jewellery were based on rich scrolling work, strap-word, shells flowers and leaves. When seen together it is sometimes called repoussé-chasing (Vivian Becker, ‘Antique and Twentieth Century Jewellery: A Guide for Collectors’, 1980).

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Pendant – Brazilian Topaz Pendant

Pendant – Brazilian Topaz Pendant

An antique early Victorian brooch modified into a pendant of gold-coloured die stamped construction. Featuring four yellow foil-backed¹ topazes of South America origin² in raised collet claw-set settings above baroque cuir roulé goldwork with repoussé and chasing³. Circa 1840-1850s.

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