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Eighteenth Century Wedgwood Marcasite Pendant


Around the time of the creation of this pendant of 1780, classicism and austerity of style were sweeping Europe. The famous firm of of Wedgwood produced this wonderful three color pendant of Diana (Roman) the goddess of the moon and the hunt, also known as Artemis to the Greeks. With a deer beside her she is holding her regal but rustic staff and upon her head sits a characteristic half moon worn as a crown.

Pyrites (or marcasites) were used in the 1770-80s in jewelry and then fell out of fashion until the early 19th century during the Art Deco period. The mount of silver is set on every surface with this marvelous metallic grey faceted material. Its mossy green, ecru and ethereal blue cameo bespeak of gracious and placid equanimity. Divine.

Date: Circa 1780.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 1-7/8 inches (4.8 cm) in length by 15/16 of an inch (2.4 cm) in width. Weighs 8.4 grams (5.3 dwt).

Condition: Excellent for its age; a few tiny hairline separations in the flowing material of her dress at the top by her shoulder; 7 marcasites replaced.

Historical Notes: The Wedgwood Family has a long tradition of production of pottery and cameos since the 18th century. Few examples remain in jewelry, but the Georgian's loved their muted palette and classical themes. See very similar cameo motif set into earrings in the book, see page 59 of the book, Georgian Jewellery book by Dawes and Collins.

Origin: Most likely English in origin.

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