Very Scarce 18th C. Emerald Gold Slide
The artistic trends of Spain and Portugal flowered at a slightly slower pace than that of their European counterparts. Their jewelers found themselves adhering to the code of styles long after those countries had moved on to another fashion era. Access to the riches of New World gold and gems (especially emeralds from Colombia) enabled the jewelers of the Iberian Peninsula to create masterpieces of gem-set open work.
This very scarce mid to later 18th century slide was originally used for a bracelet. Now it is most likely to be worn as a choker. Typically, a slide has an open frame and on the reverse are one or two vertical bars through which a ribbon or belt can be threaded and secured.
The 18k yellow gold slide is a vision of finely wrought open work which includes a bow knot design ornamented with scrolled foliage, spirals and tendrils.
Set among the swirling open work are twenty-one (21) square or table cut emeralds with flat tops and just four edge facets each, one on each side. The natural emeralds, with that deep green hue typically associated with a Colombian origin are in domed settings with rub over gold work characteristic of this period and of the Iberian Peninsula.
The central emerald is placed upon a crenellated or sectioned pillow of gold. An important aspect of the overall appeal of this jewel is the manner in which light reflects off the curved surfaces and plays within the lacy golden spirals. For examples of this type of workmanship see page 51 in “Jewels and Jewelry” by Clare Phillips.
Measurements: 1-7/16 inches (3.7 cm) in length by 1-9/16 inches (3.9 cm) in width. Weight of 15.3 grams (9.8 dwt).
Hallmarks: One indistinct hallmark on the back center.
Condition: Excellent; all gems appear original and the domed bezels are in fine condition; some minor wear to the stones as expected with age and use; general wear to the reverse. Overall very fine.
Date & Origin: Circa 1780 and is of Iberian Peninsula origin, most likely Spanish.
Overall Scale: Medium