Very Rare Georgian Berlin Iron Wirework Bracelet
An array of unusual words has been used to describe Berlin iron jewelry. Examples range from that of black lace to the weave of a spider. No matter the verbiage, nothing can compare to actually feasting one’s eyes upon a piece. This genre of jewelry has created for many an almost enslaving desire to collect.
This marvelously outstanding Berlin iron and wire work bracelet is an understated marvel of the jeweler’s craft. Significant care and technique must be employed in the creation of an item of beauty from the humble iron. A material which cannot be soldered, loops or O-rings are used to connect separate pieces.
Constructed using fine wire mesh and cast open reliefs, this Georgian era bracelet exemplifies early Berlin iron and wire work. The delicate central plaque and end clasp resemble the patterns of snowflakes in the guise of ornate iron gateways. Linking the Berlin iron elements is fine wire-mesh embellished with flower motifs and lozenge-shaped open work and framed with ovals of twisted ornamental wire work. Originally the metal was polished and lacquered to a black matte finish. Very scarce.
Measurements: Bracelet is 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) in width with the exception of the center link which is 2-1/4 inches (5.6 cm) in length by 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) in width. When worn will fit a wrist of 7-5/8 inches (19 cm) or less. Weight of 19.2 grams (12.3 dwt).
Condition: Very good; a few almost undetectable restorations to the central panel; a few tiny wire connections from the mesh to the end loops now deficient (see photos).
Date & Origin: Circa 1790 – 1820 and is Continental in origin, most likely German or French.
Overall Scale: Large
Note 1: Although this bracelet is delicate and fragile, it can be worn with care.
Note 2: “Cut-Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellery” by Anne Clifford provides an extensive history, information and photographs, both in color and black and white regarding this unique type of jewelry.
Note 3: From the private collection of the estate of a famous German opera singer.
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