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Moorish Allusions - Italian Filigree 18k Beads

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Beads such as these have been in production since the 16th and 17th centuries and were often made in Spain and regions of southern Italy. Hollow in construction, (yet here very weighty) tiny twisted wire is shaped into elliptical spheres. Here 18 to 20k gold has been elaborately wrought to make an elegant necklace of sheer power.

In all, fifteen beads are linked to form the main body of the necklace. Each is tipped with gold. At the bottom a hollow orb of gold is capped with twisted wire and embellished with filigree tendrils. At the center tiny spokes of gold are encircled by floral wire work. The clasp is original, a hollow tube with a faceted geometric sphere.

Both regal and rustic, these circa 1850 beads evoke visions of smoldering fires on a cool night. With the impact of the Moors long known for centuries for their astonishing art and architecture, the Moorish influence is seen in a good amount of jewelry from Southern Spain, regions of Italy and other parts of Europe.

Length is 21-1/8 inches (53.7 cm) long by 7/8 of an inch (2.2 cm) wide for the largest center bead; all other beads are about ½ of an inch 1.2 cm) in width. We have left the patina which can be polished if desired. In very good condition with light wear; one scratch on the tube near the center clasp; overall light wear. Weight is quite substantial at 66.9 grams yet comfortable to wear as the heft is equally distributed.

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