Anglo Indian Miniature Paintings Necklace
From the Indian tradition of illustrating manuscripts with miniature paintings comes the art style known as the Company School. Produced by Indian court artists during the British Colonial Period (British Raj) from the 17th to the 19th century, these paintings and drawings were done specifically to cater to the tastes of the British while stationed or traveling in India. Frequently commissioned as souvenirs, the paintings often depicted famous and historical buildings, forts and temples with which the British were familiar. Sometimes made into jewelry in India, there were occasions when these miniatures were brought back to England and sent to posh jewelry shops in London to be mounted into brooches or necklaces.
Crafted into a festoon necklace of gold three superb examples of Anglo Indian watercolor on ivory miniatures are on display. Each is set into an 18 to 20k yellow gold mount with spectacular cannetille work and fringe. Linked with festoons of snake chain, the miniatures are of Qutab Minar on the left, the Humayun Tomb in the center and the monument on the right is unknown.
Please note that festoon necklace of the Georgian 1770s and 1780s came back into fashion around the mid 19th century, as did the snake chain of the late Georgian period. In addition, cannetille work still endured from the earlier part of the century.
Measurements: 16-1/2 inches (42 cm) in length by more than 2 inches (5.1 cm) at the widest. The center plaque is 1-9/16 inches (4 cm) in width and the miniature is 1 inch (2.4 cm) wide by 3/4 of an inch (1.9 cm) in height. This antique necklace has a weight of 66.4 grams (42.7 dwt).
Hallmarks: “585” (for 14k gold) marked on tongue of clasp and on reverse at top and back of plaques. However, we have tested it and it tests at 18-20k. In addition, 14k gold was not used at this time so obviously hallmarked later with inaccuracy. Hallmarks are often a less than perfect method of identification.
Date & Origin: Circa 1850 – 1860 and is Indian for the miniatures; the gold work may be Indian or British.
Overall Scale: Large
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