Hancocks of London Holbeinesque Garnet Pendant
Founded in 1849, Hancocks continues to be one of the premier jewelers of London. With a reputation for creating ravishing Holbeinesque jewelry, this garnet and enamel pendant adds to that already impressive jewelry archive.
Although characterized by the typical ornamentation expected of a pendant rendered in the manner of Holbein, the use of a garnet carbuncle is quite unusual as this stone was traditionally employed in the 18th and early 19th century and then fell from favor.
The oval garnet cabochon is quite large – 17 mm by 14 mm – and mounted with oval gold bezel embellished with a double row of the ubiquitous quatrefoil design in red and cobalt blue champlevé enamel. The centered gem is surrounded with a border of polychrome enamel work in red, green, cobalt blue and sienna six petal flowerheads interspersed with six square set chrysoberyl jewels.
An enamel fitting suspends a lozenge shaped drop of 4 square cut chrysoberyls. The drop is accented with a trefoil design of three golden orbs. The reverse is elaborately hand engraved with Tudor rose motifs and scrolls surrounding an oval glass hair locket compartment.
Measurements: 2-5/8 inches (6.9 cm) in length by 1-1/4 inches (by 2.9 cm) in width. Weight of 17.7 grams (10.4 dwt).
Condition: Excellent; one small area of enamel loss on the top loop of bottom drop.
Date & Origin: Circa 1870 – 1880 and is English in origin.
Note: For very similar examples, please refer to page 52 of “The Master Jewelers” by A. Kenneth Snowman.