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Key to My Heart – Georgian Emerald Pendant


A motif rarely seen beyond the two decades of 1810 and 1830 is the typically gem set wide padlock. Sentimental in nature, it is not at all surprising that the Georgians of the era were enamored with its design of key and heart dangles. The 1850s through the 1870 saw a resurgence of popularity of the configuration but with a much slimmer profile which often sported only a few large gems cut en cabochon.

Here is the quintessential romantic expression realized in a pendant brooch of 15k yellow gold. The piece is exquisite, very scarce and in mint condition. Twisted gold wire and orbs adorn a wide open work padlock shaped pendant brooch. A large half moon shaped emerald cabochon, is centered within a filigree of delicate and fine gold work dotted with twenty-two (22) old mine cut diamonds and twelve (12) additional emeralds with a very fine coloration. Gem studded dangles of a key and a heart design provide visual interest. A fold down pendant and glass covered locket compartment complete the rare Georgian piece.

See similar padlock motif brooches and pendants on pages 13, 137 and 140 of “Georgian Jewellery 1714 – 1830” by Dawes & Collins.

Date: Circa 1820.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 1-1/4 inches (3.2 cm) in length including bale by 1-1/16 inches (2.8 cm) in width. Weight of 8.0 grams (5.1 dwt).

Condition: Excellent; two smaller emeralds chipped and visible with magnification; large emerald medium to heavily included with some veining and a tiny chip; minute amount of silver solder to the back in one small area; the gold drop down bale appears later although the base and two sides of hinge are original.

Origin: Most likely English in origin.

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