Superb Geiss Berlin Iron Bracelet
As part of the 19th century Prussian War effort citizens were asked to donate their gold jewelry. In return, they may have received black lace-like cast-iron pieces of jewelry which were proudly worn by the Prussian women. The style proved so popular that it was manufactured through the middle of the century.
The cabal of illustrious designers and manufacturers of this fabulous style of jewelry was quite small and consisted of Geiss, Schott and Lehmann. This particular Gothic Revival Berlin iron bracelet is attributed to Geiss, as makers of this fine art form did not always stamp their pieces with identifying marks. The design is certainly one of patterns used by Geiss. It was during this era of production that the form mimicked gate iron work and tracery patterns found in architectural elements.
The piece features nine panels or links utilizing Gothic elements of architecture such as quatrefoils, vertical piers and shafts, lancets, ogee arches and finials of lacelike iron tracery attached to a clasp reminiscent of a trefoil window typically found in a Gothic era church. For additional information and similar examples see pages 70, plate II and pages 88-89 in “Cut-Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellery” by Anne Clifford.
Date: Circa 1820 - 1840.
Measurements: 7-3/4 inches (19.7 cm) in length by 2-7/8 inches (6.7 cm) in width at the clasp and 2-1/4 inches (5.6 cm) at the links. Will fit a wrist of 7-3/4 inches or less and can be worn by a small wrist of 6 inches. Weight of 49.1 grams (31.6 dwt).
Condition: Excellent and spectacular example; as typical, mirrored steel plate under clasp has tiny traces of patina which shows as a slightly darker area – almost like tiny dark webs against the mirrored surface.
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