Edwardian Meows: Enamel Gold Cat Pendant
Prior to the 18th century keeping a cat or dog as a pet was met with if not outright suspicion then it was viewed as morally questionable and wasteful. Art history gives us insight with the introduction of dogs and cats appearing with children and ladies in paintings of the 18th century. Moreover, it was said that the “intellectuals of the day (writers and artists) were known to keep cats as pets. Ladies of higher social strata (nobility, aristocracy, wealth) frequently pampered and coddled small dogs referred to as “comfort canines”. As the 19th century rolled around more households had pets as the role of these animals shifted providing a service (e.g., a mouser) to that of companion or pet.
Dog motif jewelry has far surpassed that of the Felis catus or housecat and coming across a piece reduces the caterwauling and calls for a small series of purrs. An Edwardian era pendant of 14k yellow gold features a realistic rendering of the face of a cat. Our furry little friend is rendered in enamel decoration with a palette of subtle hues of brown, pale yellow, blue, pink, red, bronze and gold. Perky ears and old European cut diamond set eyes gives the feline companion a sparkling attitude. Its pert nose and little red mouth impart a contented demeanor and a friend for life. The three-dimensional pendant is hollow and comfortable to wear on a link chain or satin ribbon.
Date: Circa 1910.
Measurements: 1-3/16 inches (2.9 cm) in length including bale and 7/8 of an inch (2.3 cm) without by 3/4 of an inch (2 cm) at the widest. Weight of 4.1 grams (2.6 dwt).
Hallmarks: Worn 14k mark.
Condition: Very good; light enamel wear to high spots of ears visible with magnification; one diamond with a tiny edge chip only visible with a loupe; later date plate attached to back to hold the bale.
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