Delicate Gossamer Gold Pendant c. 1790
It is a circa 1790 cannetille work gold pendant with, most likely, its original chain. Cannetille work is the use of gold which is stretched out very fine, almost like spun gold, and then often layered or used to form spirals and flowers. Here it is used flat and spun in feather-like forms to make a whisper thin equal armed pendant cross form with a dangling flower motif drop above. It is then suspended on a three strand chain - all hand made.
Literally glowing with radiance in its sheer artistry, the shape is quite intriguing-- a type of cross pattée with four alternating pointed tips between each arm. At this time, the Maltese cross and other forms were often utilized in a very decorative manner as is evidenced here. It measures 1-7/8 inches wide and high just for the cross, then another 1-13/16 inches for the chain that suspends it for a total drop of 3-3/4 inches. The chain from which it hangs (the three part chain) measures 16-3/4 inches in length.
Both ethereal and breathtaking, a jewel that beguiles by the sheer fact it has survived the lengthy journey of time. It is in near mint condition - remarkable in and of itself. It is most likely French in origin. Delicate but ultra wearable and so worth the extra care. Circa 1790.