The glamour of rich damasks and silks, candlelit salons, lavish soirees and shadowy assignations...all the past and secret history is still retained in this magnificent antique paste pendant brooch.
At the height of the 18th century prior to about 1790, the fashion and frenzy was all about over-the-top ornamentation. Three of the major motifs that peppered the period were the bow, the teardrop and the flower.
Each is blended in superb harmony here; this grand-scale jewel could come straight from a display cabinet at the famed Victoria and Albert Museum in London. (If you are in London, the jewelry exhibition is astounding!)
Created in silver (the only white metal of its day) to set off clear sparkling paste stones, it is entirely hand-made.
Known as black dot paste, considered some of the finest, when looking very closely at each paste, you can see a tiny black spot at the bottom mimicking what a diamond would resemble at that time.
Two different flowers are nestled amid leaves and clusters of pastes. Beneath, a bow and two teardrop or pear shapes dangle. Can you imagine the various artisans and hours it took to create this? Even more intriguing are the sights and dramas that this has witnessed in the last 260 years.
The reverse reveals its characteristic bulbous and sculptural back in weighty silver. There is a pendant fitting and brooch fitting. The bottom inner teardrop was removable to wear by itself, but we do not recommend doing so now.
For a somewhat similar example, see the book, "Georgian Jewellery" by Dawes & Collings on page 16.