Early 18th C. Topaz Cross Pendant
Antique foiled topaz jewelry has become so scarce that aficionados almost have gone to extreme lengths in order to acquire a piece. It is of course no wonder why as its ethereal color, ranging in tones from light champagne, deeper yellow and pale flesh pink tone can be so subtle that it is nigh impossible to pinpoint the exact shade.
This early Georgian example exemplifies the juxtaposition of expert craftsmanship and superb imperial topaz gemstones. Faceted pyramidal-shaped imperial topaz has been foiled and set closed back into a silver fire gilt mount with a very deep sculptural and bulbous back. The unusual claw set stones are peach-amber in hue and, with the foiling (which adds a dimensionality and brilliance) refract highlights from umber to bright champagne.
Measurements: 2-1/16 of an inch (5.2 cm) in length by 1-5/8 of an inch (4.2 cm) in width by 3/8 of an inch (0.9 cm) in depth. This antique pendant has a weight of 19.6 grams (12.6 dwt).
Date: Circa 1720 - 1740
Overall Scale: Medium to large
Historical Note: Religious jewelry has dominated history for centuries and the cross form is perhaps one of the more often used icons. Reinterpreted in any number of configurations, the cruciform shape itself, bestowed with both secular and religions connotations, has an inherent symmetry with an unmistakable proportion, harmony and balance which few forms can match.