The epitome of the spirit of the 18th century in Europe...a breathtaking chrysoberyl pendant.
As dazzling as it must have been when wrought, this lavish jewel recalls the tastes and preferences of the elite in the Iberian region.
Usually worn high on the neck on a ribbon, or as shown in our photographs, each of the 124 chrysoberyl gemstones was precisely hand-cut and then set into silver wells or channels. Upon close examination, you realize that no two stones are alike, all are distinct.
Every shape imaginable comes to life within this one antique pendant. Outlines of cushions, eyes, squares, and rectangles, near rounds, and mixes or curves and angles come together in harmony.
If you were to ask what few motifs dominated most of 18th-century jewelry and design, it is easily answered...flowers, ribbons or bows, and the teardrop. All are employed here with three flowerheads, their accompanying leaves and stems, the drape of ribbons that form a bow, and a teardrop below.
Still removable, the dangle can be worn on a chain or attached to another piece of jewelry. All the gemstones are foiled beneath them for maximum refraction and sheen.
Silver is the medium used as the backdrop, its heavy weight attests to its construction and is entirely handmade. To the reverse, a sculptural rounded technique contains the gems. In fact, the silver was also brought up over the edges of the gemstones and burnished smoothly to create an exact cradle for each.
It is scarce indeed to discover this large example in its original, untouched condition outside of museum collections. Each stone is original, as are the two pendant fittings.
Historical note: Originally brought to the British Isles and Europe by the Spanish and Portuguese, the fiery gemstone is the color of pale chartreuse green similar to that of a crystal Pontarlier glass of absinthe diluted with water. A gemstone with a high refractive index, it has remarkable shimmer and light.
Important: This should not be immersed in water or exposed to other liquids, cleaning products, or harsh chemicals. Steam cleaning should be avoided. Polishing with a silver cloth fis recommended for the back. For the front. a gentle wipe with a soft cloth such as those for eyeglasses is enough to keep it dazzling.