Imagine it if you will. Feel your hands grip the bedpost as the strings on your corset are pulled tight. Feel the layers of silk sliding over you, the swish of multiple layers of skirts. Your hair is pinned up with a hundred pins, your outfit is almost complete. Almost, but first the jewels, the tray is brought to you and you must choose. Tonight is important, you think, tonight you will dance with your love by candlelight. Tonight, you think, is a night for sapphires, for rubies, the gems of cool passion, the kind that simmers and takes things slow. You choose this pendant, hanging from a black velvet cord tied high up on your lovely swan-like neck. You chose wisely.
This fabulous pendant is unmarked, but has the feel of an Austro-Hungarian piece to me. It is set with natural sapphires and creamy white pearls and while the red gems may be rubies, they may as soon be synthetic as the Austro-Hungarian makers freely used paste gems mixed with the real thing, with their small size and closed backed nature I wasn’t able to get a clean reading on them. The pendant is set in gilded silver and features a cabochon sapphire center with a stone which measures 11.2 mm x 8.7 mm x 8.2 mm deep and weighs approximately 8.68 carats. The pendant is further set with 18 sapphires and 5 rubies (?) and 55 pearls, 54 of which are small half-pearls and one is the 5.5 mm drop. I would date this wonderful piece to about 1870, it’s got a lovely bow over wreath motif and is fully articulated for great movement and maximum impact. This pendant measures 73 mm north to south and 28 mm across and weighs 14 grams.
And so there you are, off to the ball. Have fun, don’t lose a glass slipper on your way home (or maybe do!).
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Item ID: PTA20831VA