Years ago, a famous and astute Victorian jewelry collector told a story of how she would peruse the New York flea markets many years before and buy jewelry. Delighted over her purchases, she would then promptly dump the antique boxes in the trash. Ouch!
She winced as she related her tale, now knowing how prized those boxes are over the last decades. Today they are highly coveted and collected and many empty boxes sell for small fortunes.
In an antique box of brown leather (not original to the necklace) with fuchsia silk and velvet interior is a magnificent example of a Victorian choker necklace. Created all in silver, it appears to have been little worn but cherished nonetheless.
A veritable silver garden of roses and flowers fill the senses and astound the eye. Fashioned in filigree, cannetille work and three-dimensional silver, there are eleven graduated in size links and a clasp with the same rose element atop.
Choker length of 14 inches, all but the last two smallest sections, 9 in all, consist of two parts, a main scalloped creation and another separate and articulated swag. The silver rose at the midpoint of each link creates a three-dimensional work of art complete with 3 or 4 layers of open petals and the interior embellished with tiny silver stamens.
Beneath the roses are leaf forms and an undulating scalloped open work backdrop of cannetille scrolls and orbs of precious metal.
Each swag is suspended beneath the front links and creates a filigree garland of leaves with a different type of smaller, sculptural flower at its heart.
Circa 1880, it is breathtaking in its scope and rendering of a garden for the wearing.