Outside of our present day thinking, several hundred years ago some items of jewelry were sewn onto clothing. For an individual, no matter how well off except for the richest of the rich, it was not just jewelry which was scarce.
In fact, clothing both formal and everyday wear was possessed in limited amounts. Very few owned multiples of shoes, dresses or even undergarments nor did people possess caskets and chests full of jewels. A few pieces were all that was needed. Often, fine jewelry was sewn directly onto formal attire and dresses. When needed for another vestment, the items were removed and hand stitched onto another gown.
With this cross, it is easy to make such a case as the absence of all fittings (such as pendant hoops, pins and no evidence of removal). Rare indeed and The Three Graces has had only a few pieces during our entire history.
Often, also if the jewelry was crafted of silver, in order to protect the clothing or skin from dark staining from patina, the reverse of the item was gilded with a thin coating of gold.
Exceptionally rare, a pierced scrolling frame of silver is embellished with sixteen (16) table cut diamonds set into mounds of silver rubbed over the diamonds that it is difficult to ascertain where the silver ends and the diamond begins.
Table cut diamonds, one of the earliest cuts, have just a few facets, a flat surface and just four bevels on each of the four sides. Highly sculptural with delicate detailing, the mounds display scalloped shaped detail characteristic of the late 17th century.
For additional examples of these domes of silver see "Five Centuries of Jewellery National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon” on pages 40 and 45. To the reverse note the bulbous rounded mounts with gold over silver.
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