Ancient Luxury: Labradorite Scarab Pendant
A very fine specimen of labradorite has been exquisitely carved into a sacred scarab symbol. The translucent stone is visually electrifying with intense flashes of blue throughout and is fitted with an Art Nouveau open grill work cage cum locket opening with no glass cover. A swivel mechanism has been attached to the gold border.
Suspending the scarab is a breathtaking chain of 14k yellow gold roller links (a similar construction to the gear chain patented in 1880 and used for bicycles). Appointed with applied flower and rosette wire work, the flexible chain encloses four ancient hematite cylinder seals incised with intricate engraved figures. A gold link chain with snap clip completes the piece. Unsigned as was typical for articles of this era, this circa 1900 vest chain is most likely from the house of Tiffany & Co. or that of Marcus & Co.
It would look superb as a pendant worn on a thick chain. Read More about this below in the tab "Measurements and More".
Measurements: 5-5/8 inches (14.0 cm) in overall length from top of clasp to bottom of scarab. Seal section is 3 inches (7.8 cm) in length by 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length. Scarab is 1-1/4 inches (3.1 cm) in height by 1-1/2 inches (4.0 cm) in width. Weight of 75.2 grams (48.3 dwt).
Hallmarks: “14k” on interior of snap clip.
Condition: Excellent for the front of the scarab with veining and inclusions natural to the stone; gold work is fine. On back of labradorite scarab underneath metal openwork are a few chips visible with magnification. Cylinder seals are ancient and have various rubbings, tiny chips and areas of wear; one has a repaired chip visible upon very close inspection or with magnification.
Date & Origin: Circa 1900 and is most likely American in origin. Cylinder seals are ancient and most likely circa 2000 BCE.
Historical Notes: Cylinder seals such as these were an ancient method (circa 3400 BCE to 1000 BCE) used to convey a picture or scene. A form of “writing”, the round cylinder was rolled across the surface of a medium, often wet clay tablet leaving an impression. Later on such cylinders were used as a seal for an individual. Examples can be found in many museums.
Historical Note 2: No fashionable American gentleman of the Edwardian era worth his salt would fail to sport a vest chain. A necessary of the day, the chain secured a pocket watch and a variety of additional items such as a signet fob or pen knife. Few high-end shops were able to provide such marvelous accoutrements to the American aristocracy of the time. Marcus & Co. or Tiffany and Co. (both located in New York City) typically accommodated such needs as this truly exceptional vest chain with locket fob.
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