Antique Gem-set Animal Lion Bracelet
Even before recorded history the symbol of the lion had been incorporated into the mythology and religion of a number of civilizations and cultures. Often used as the representation of power and majesty, leonine imagery is deeply embedded in Renaissance history with the tradition that since lions never sleep they serve as a guard for sacred places and royal precincts.
Elegant, timeless and powerful, this circa 1870 Victorian antique bracelet superbly sets forth the imagery of the lion’s head in 19k yellow gold. Each end of a bangle sports a marvelously textured and detailed lion’s head. Within the mouth of one lion is an .18 carat old mine cut diamond with a rose cut diamond for its eye; the other grasps in its jaws a round cut ruby of 3.5 mm and “sees” through a cabochon ruby eye. The sides are appointed with gorgeous Etruscan revival wire work and granulation, lending superb texture to the surfaces. The hinge on the back enables the bracelet to open just slightly for it to be placed around the wrist. Thick steel cable within allows the bracelet to be flexible in the middle.
Condition: Very good to excellent. Light wear overall commensurate with age and use; interior has a minute indention; rose cut diamond in eye is slightly askew (visible with a loupe) but stable and secure.
Hallmarks: “Pat Oct 25 70” for patent granted October 25, 1870 and “Pat Jun 29 80” for 1880.
Measurements: Lion heads are 11/16 of an inch (1.8 cm) at the widest (north to south on the wrist) and ½ of an inch (1.2 cm) in depth (or high off the wrist) ; bangle at back just shy of 1/4 of an inch (0.7 cm) in width. Will fit a wrist of 7-1/2 inches or less. Weight of 17.4 grams which would include the interior steel band.
Dated & Origin: Circa 1870; American in origin.
Note: All diamond and gemstone weights are approximate since the stones were not removed from their mounts to preserve the integrity of the setting.
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