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  1. #1

    Default victorian (?) necklace

    I have this necklace, it's 38,5cm long, and pearls are from about 1,5 mm to 4,5mm
    The pearls are used and have a barrel shape, there are many of them, no knot between the pearls.
    When backlighted (candled) it's easy to see they are a bit weathered and some nacre has gone.
    I had it in a (very damaged and weathered) case with spirale shape to put the necklace.
    The clasp is made from rose gold and platinum(?), or silver or white gold, my best idea is platimum, not typical silver tarnishing, however it can also be white gold, would need a test to get sure.
    It's covered with some rose cut diamonds.
    My first idea was art deco period, based from pictures, but now it's in my hands I think it's earlier work, probably victorian era or so, the pearls are really small and fine, and many of them, they are weathered, and I saw similar shaped clasps even from georgian period.
    I removed two damaged pearls, probably cracked, the core were visible, and both had onion structure, no nuclei at all, even on the wire drilling we see a onion structure with a round shape, starting from a dot or so.
    What is your opinion?
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    Last edited by parfaitelumiere; 01-17-2018 at 03:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Natural Pearl Lover Senior Pearl Expert MSC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    What a gorgeous necklace! Looooooove the clasp, spectacular! They appear natural to me, but I think it would be worth sending them to a lab for testing/certification. Well done! I hope you restring and knot between each pearl or every few pearls to protect those precious babies
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  3. #3


    It would require quite a fine wire to get a knot between each pearl, because there really are many (151, pearls, 38cm only)
    I don't know if knotting was always made, I saw several victorian or ealier necklaces with no knot, so I don't know.
    Sending to a lab is very expensive from what I read, so it may no be valuable enough to do it, not sure.
    I would ask to a local radiologist to make a picture of it, and other pearls I have or will get, it would be interesting, and probably not really expensive, but i don't know if it would be efficient enough, especially for a good natural vs bead vs non-bead culture pearl view...
    For now, the what to be homogenous candling is eliminating bead cultivated and I assume also the non bead cultivated too.
    This kind of jewelry is what I wold like to collect, then find the matching girl, much more difficult!
    Last edited by parfaitelumiere; 01-18-2018 at 01:41 PM.

  4. #4
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    Thank you very much for sharing your extraordinary necklace, yes, I agree, most likely naturals. What a rich creamy color the pearls are! The photo showing the case, so interesting! What a lovely clasp, could you please share a photograph of the back?

    My impression is that with such small pearls, individual knotting was not the rule. However, knotting would add length and security, as MSC mentioned.


  5. #5


    yes it was my first thought, adding lenght and security by making new knotting, I don't know yet, it can still try to make a knotting, and remove a few of the smallest pearls to keep a quite short lenght.
    Knotting would indeed add security, much smooter move, and less friction between pearls.
    I think I will have to learn the technics.
    The clasp back is same, it's a barrel, hole diamond covered piece.
    it's funny because the biggest pearl is already smaller than the smallest of my akoya (5,5-9mm)
    I saw a very nice necklace described as victorian, with a silver clasp with 10 diamonds, also saw a very long one with similar clasp (one center stone or pearl and 8 to 10 smaller diamonds old cut) but the long one, as the one I saw, were probably 2 stranded in the beginning, one was modified to get a long necklace, other, just one stand disapeared as did the matching rings on the clasp.
    I am watching several necklaces actually, on several websites, it will depend on which price quality and also how is the seller.
    As exemple I saw a very interesting mauboussin necklace, with matching (?) case (pre 1925), but seller had a few informations only, telling his mother replaced clasp (?) in this case mauboissin hallmark is not anymore on necklace, and did not accept to send larger pictures, or tell me more about specific informations especially size of graduation.
    I suspect this one to be made from natural pearls, but the simple design clasp and quite high price, and seller mind don't make me feel good for this deal, if it would have a clasp like the one I just get here, I would already have it in collection.

  6. #6
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl Expert BWeaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Orlando, Florida, USA


    What a gorgeous necklace. I would not knot between the pearls. Graduated necklaces like that never were. Just maybe knot the last couple for security next to the clasp, which is also gorgeous.

  7. #7


    Do you have a more specific idea about period?
    I was first thinkin 1900-20 but I am more thinking it could be earlier in the end.

  8. #8
    Professional Rethreader Senior Guide Member Bernadette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi Parfaitelumiere, bit hard to say they are natural by the pictures alone.

    I have only came across 3 natural strands in my restringing career (34 years) natural pearls are very different to restring than cultured.
    If the correct thickness of thread was used, knots would not detract from the age or beauty of your necklace.

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