Opulent Emerald and Diamond Girandole Necklace
Light and airy. That is the essence of the 18th century. This diamond, emerald and silver necklace is the epitome of this spirit. With over 22 carats of emeralds, and over 200 rose cut diamonds, it doesn't get much grander than this. Dating to the mid to later part of the 18th century, this necklace is entirely hand made and encrusted with emeralds. The emeralds are mostly table cut, rectangular and square shapes, with a few leaf and triangular forms - 125 in all! Staggering.
The motif is the bow, an 18th century essential and pervasive motif. The central element is a stylized bow in girandole form with three drops. The two side elements of another bow form. Next are bows of a flatter nature - most likely added later (but long ago and of the period) to extend the choker into a necklace. The pieces are of the period but are certainly of a different craftsmanship and work but match well. After these elements are two (2) elongated shapes and a clasp. Each piece is a fretwork of emeralds with highlights of scrolled organic silver and glittering with diamonds. The silver work is airy and open, punctuated with tiny floral forms that hold rose cut diamonds.
The necklace measures 16 1/2 inches long (40 cm). The central bow girandole measures 3 3/16 inches wide (8 cm) 1 5/8 inches high at each side (4.3 cm) without drops; 2 7/8 inches long (7.8 cm) from the highest part of the top to the bottom of the longest drop. The next bow motif elements are 1 1/4 inches high (3.3 cm)by just over 1/2 inches wide (3.8 cm). The central emerald is estimated at a weight of 1.5 carats; another measures 1 carat; several at 3/4 of a carat and many at about .4-.5 carats. All are set in foiled closed back settings.
The country of origin is possibly Southern Italian, Northern Spain or other Continental origin. Even some Flemish work resembles this type of silver work. The two later bow elements are most likely Spanish. In very good condition with the two later elements, some small silver solder reinforcements to various links and overall wear. Simply regal and divine.
Please email us for further photos and description or condition. Circa 1770.