Georgian Literary Portrait Festoon Necklace
An ode to love and literature...some of the greatest literary figures of the Western World are assembled in this a most lyrical antique necklace. Exceptionally rare and certainly the only one of its kind, this is a necklace that dates to circa 1810-1820 England. Composed of twelve (12) separate portrait miniatures on ivory, it is as breathtaking as the authors it commemorates. Most likely commissioned as a token of love it is a grand and eloquent gesture to art and adornment.
Spanning the centuries, we begin the journey of portraits and authors from the classical writers of Greece in the likenesses of Plato and Aristotle, to the poetess Sappho. The Renaissance brought us the great bard, Shakespeare. Georgian England brought us authors with whom generations of poets and writers took their inspiration in the favorites of Lord Byron, John Keats, Percy Shelley and even the beloved Jane Austen. Reclining on a bed of mossy green flora, a cherub clutches a wisp of a cloud and nestles against a pink rose. This central oval plaque is the anchor for the other miniatures. Plumage rendered in the color of dreams, two fanciful birds punctuate the portraits. One perches, another takes wing to the heavens. Another cherub profile completes the twelve. All are set into high carat gold, covered with convex glass and backed with smooth and slightly bulbous, closed backs. In between graceful sets of two chains drape effortlessly against the skin.
In near mint condition, the necklace is simply worthy of the finest collection or the most serene of necks yet it is certainly sturdy enough to be worn. With backgrounds of shades of sky blue, azure, periwinkle and midnight blue, each portrait is so lovingly detailed, the entire jewel exudes an aura that will not be forgotten once seen and touched.
Measures just less than 1-3/8 inches across by 1 inch high for the central oval cherub plaque (3.3 cm by 1.5 cm); others range from 7/8 of an inch in diameter to 3/4 of an inch to 5/8 of an inch down (2.2 cm, 2 cm 1.8 cm). The entire necklace measures 16-1/4 inches at the shortest (41.3 cm).