Glittering Victorian Cut Steel Bracelet
The 18th century first saw cut-steel jewelry as a replacement for the precious metal and gems Louis XV requisitioned to finance the Seven Years War. Although cut-steel pieces were found throughout the Georgian era in the form of shoe buckles, knee buckles and buttons, its popularity as jewelry reached its peak from about the 1850s to the waning years of the Late Victorian Period.
Cut-steel jewelry is typically set with minute steel studs which have been faceted and polished to a high sheen. French made items can sometimes be differentiated from their brethren due to the flat cut facets on the studs. Each of the small cut steel beads is individually hand riveted into place onto a metal backing plate. The tiny riveted pieces are densely set in pave fashion. Often confused with marcasites, cut steel and marcasite were used as diamond substitutes due to the bright metallic luster of both materials.
Glittering from an array of metal facets, an ornate bracelet of cut-steel manifests into multiple links of open work designs. A circular central panel features a four petal flowerhead with marquise shaped accents within a border of small cut-steel beads and flattened conical shapes. Intricate side panels and open back links display the fine master level craftsmanship of old.
Date: Circa 1870.
Measurements: 6-11/16 inches (17 cm) in length; center panel is 1-3 /8 inches (3.6 cm) in diameter. Will fit a wrist of about 6-1/2 inches or less. Weight of 35.3 grams (22.7 dwt).
Condition: Excellent; one cut steel missing from one side of center connection point.
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