Fly High: Victorian Vinaigrette Pendant & Chain
The desire to access the skies and soar as a bird has tempted humankind since the two co-existed on earth. An actual flight into the clouds occurred in 1783 when the brothers Montgolfier built and launched the first manned hot-air balloon ascended upward and sailed the wild blue yonder.
Thus became a passion for collecting memorabilia surrounding the hot air balloon. Here we have a Victorian example in the form of a balloon shaped hinged vinaigrette pendant featuring two pastoral scenes rendered in vivid polychromatic enamel on silver. One setting depicts a male and female couple seated side by side as they enjoy a mid-morning repast. The other is of a country gentleman reclining as he surveys his vast holdings of land. The tableaus are set against a background of heavenly cobalt blue enamel with a hand painted gold design. The accompanying chain is of alternating elongated batons of cobalt blue enamel covered silver and unembellished ones.
Date: Circa 1880.
Measurements: Chain is 22-1/4 inches (56.5 cm) in total length. Pendant is 1-3/8 inches (3.4 cm) in length including bale by 11/16 of an inch (1.7 cm) in width. Weight of 15.7 grams (10.1 dwt) for both pendant and chain.
Hallmarks: Maker’s mark of “SG”; an “A”.
Condition: Excellent; a few minute area of enamel restoration on pendant and chain not visible with the naked eye; vinaigrette screen covering now deficient.
Origin: European and most likely Austrian.
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