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French Victorian Silver Paste Necklace


Although history has provided the revelation that paste as gem has been with us since antiquity, it was during the early 18th century when the demand was on the verge of outnumbering its production. Worn and sought after extensively from that time on, aficionados have developed an almost obsessive love. The French in particular became quite adept at producing some of the most beautiful paste-set jewelry.

The later decades of the 19th century seemed to be overflowing with a reawakened interest in styles of previous eras. Whether influenced by the artisans of antiquity or the geniuses of the Renaissance, well-proportion design never is out of fashion.

Here we have a wondrous example of a neoclassical interpretation of one of the more feminine of necklaces – the garland. Floral and leaf motifs galore display cushion and round cut pastes foiled and set closed back in the traditional silver. The original paste-set flower clasp completes the look as delicate botanical forms grace the neck in a never-ending swoon of radiance, light and shimmer harkening back to the days and nights of splendor.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 15-3/8 inches (39.4 cm) in length when worn by the widest 5/8 of an inch (1.6 cm) at the widest. Weight of 41.8 grams (26.9 dwt).

Hallmarks: French eagle's head in several areas on the reverse.

Condition: Excellent; tiny silver plate added to back as reinforcement long ago; pastes are clear and sparkling but vary in intensity due to foiling; one paste replaced.

Date & Origin: Circa 1890 and is French in origin.

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