Art Deco Sparkle: Sterling Marcasite Bracelet
Sumptuary laws which limit ownership of certain objects to people in specific classes have been in effect since antiquity. In fact during the 13th century Louis IX of France established a sumptuary law reserving diamonds for the king. The Swiss began using marcasites in the late 1700s in place of the diamonds forbidden by sumptuary laws for all except the most noble.
Silver is perhaps one of the, if not the perfect medium to display marcasites to their best advantage. Used fairly extensively during the Georgian and Victorian eras, the years of early and mid Art Deco reintroduced the marcasite into the public eye with their flash and requirement for little cash.
A sterling silver bracelet is a vision in a delicate filigree of open work of floral design embellished with shimmering marcasites. Within the lacy design each of the marcasites has been individually set with silver tips in stead of simple gluing. A series of hinged panels provides for a more fluid drape around the wrist. The bracelet is finished with a tongue and groove clasp and a safety chain for additional security.
Date: Circa 1930.
Measurements: 7 inches (18 cm) in length by 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) in width. Weight of 28.0 grams (18.0 dwt).
Hallmarks: “Sterling” on bracelet back and safety clasp of chain.
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