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Georgian Ornate Berlin Iron Cross Pendant

Item 11781

Berlin iron represents a genre of jewelry that is today quite rare and becoming exceedingly difficult to obtain. The number of collectors and aficionados has increased proportionately to the rise in the prices of such pieces.

This example demonstrates the aspects of the earlier design style of Berlin iron with its emphasis on the neo-classical. Although the form is that of a simple Latin cross, a medallion of iron has been cast or molded into a cameo of a classical head profile rendered in low relief and set upon a ground of polished and mirrored steel. Complimenting the central plaque are polished and mirrored steel appliqués set at each of the cardinal points.

Ornate flourishes and iron wire tendrils and whirls surround and frame the single cross foundation creating a piece which is lacy, fine and almost delicate in its configuration. Each element has been carefully polished and lacquered to a matte coal black.

An almost exact example can be seen in “Cut Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellery” by Anne Clifford on page 90.

Measurements: 3-1/8 inches (7.7 cm) in length with top “O” fitting and 2-3/4 inches (7.1 cm) without by 2-1/8 inches (5.5 cm) in width. This antique pendant has a weight of 11.1 grams (7.1 dwt).

Condition: Good; some wear to black lacquer on raised edges of iron and to back of central cameo plaque.

Date & Origin: Circa 1800 and is European in origin.

Overall Scale: Large