I was standing at the booth of a dear friend on Portobello Road on a Saturday morning when a very good looking young man arrived. She greeted him warmly and he her. Then he began to pull little bags of jewels out of his many pockets, laying them on her counter. When he pulled out the bag that contained this stunning pendant I couldn’t help but lean in and have a closer look. The nice thing is, my friend loves me and let me steal this fabulous piece right out from under her; she’s awesome like that.
This stunning and large scale pendant was handcrafted around 1850 with fantastic eye to detail. It is set with four richly saturated, deep red garnets with the most intriguing cuts, they are similar to sugarloaf cuts and maybe were meant to be somewhat heart shaped, the result is both stunning and unusual. The center is set with a small old European cut diamond which measures 2.5 mm across and is closed backed. This piece is beautifully crafted and I believe it started life out as something else, but it has no signs of having had a pin stem removed so I’m not entirely sure what. Perhaps it was part of a stomacher or parure? The body of the pendant tests as 22 karat gold and has a corresponding weightiness, the bale is 15 karat and marked as such. The pendant has a locket back which has a small piece of fabric in it but which probably originally held a lock of hair. This large pendant measures 64.3 mm north to south and 42 mm across, it is 15.3 mm deep and weighs 26.7 grams. It would require a nice, heavy chain or thick cord to be worn comfortably.
Most likely English in origin, this one is sure to be noticed and would work equally well with a fancy cocktail dress or flip flops and a tee. It’s a stunning pendant and a true conversation starter.
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