Georgian Sentimental Garnet Pansy Pendant
The language of sentiment is rather lost on many of us today. We are used to things being all at face value, with less substance behind the object. But in the history of jewelry and objects, art and architecture - it was not only how something looked, its proportions and design, but all the subtle imagery and symbolism within. Take this marvelous pansy pendant. Pansies, in the language of flowers (there was an entire book on the subject), meant a person was thinking of you. It derives from the French words, Penzez a toi, the first word which sounds like pansy. It is translated from French, “I am thinking of you”, therefore pansies symbolized friendship or love. Quite scarce today, pansy jewelry is a delight to find.
This pendant is in superb condition with four pansies around the outside of the central large oval garnet. Deep, claret red purple almandine garnets are the gem used and are all set within rose gold which so compliments the hues and tones of the garnets. These garnets appear darker in the photos than when seen person, and have a bit more fire. Each is flat cut with a flat top and austere facets to the sides which bring forth surprising glimmer. Detail is certainly key to Georgian jewelry, and this circa 1820 pendant is all about detail. The small round cut garnet centers, the pinched collets, the perfect proportions and the hand made detail.
Backs of jewelry are often keys to their authenticity and date and this is a classic example of what one wants to find. Smooth, well worn bulbous gold cups hold the gems and in the center an oval locket covered with rock crystal which once probably contained a lock of sentimental hair. On oval “O” ring is used at the top and is most likely a latter addition.
Measuring 1-½ inches long (with top “O” ring 1-¾ inches (3.8 cm or 4.4 cm) by 1 5/16 inches wide (3.4 cm). In excellent condition there is little of note except hair no longer present, some patina to the reverse, and mention of the later top “O” ring, otherwise very fine. Circa 1820 and probably English in origin.