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  1. #1

    Default Recreating an antique seed pearl piece

    While cruising eBay one night I came across, and fell in love with, a Victorian seed pearl jewelry set. The $1100 USD it sold for is rather out of my price range, but as I have some skill with beading and wirework I thought I should be able to make a similar piece instead. My main problem is that I have not yet found a source for the MOP foundations the pearls are laced to. My other problem is sourcing seed pearls of such a size -- the smallest ones look like 2mm, and I haven't been able to find any yet.

    I'm considering a foundation with a material other than MOP, but I'd really like to stay true to the materials. I'm not equipped to safely handle MOP dust or I'd carve it myself.

    For posterity, I will reproduce the relevant parts of the listing here. It's too beautiful to get lost in time

    This listing is for another Victorian suite of seed pearl set jewellery. The drop earrings measure approximately 8cm top to bottom. and the necklace is about 36 cm long to give an idea of this lovely but sad condition set. The necklace just has one break, but both the drop earrings have become broken just below their top roundels. The little brooch which is very intricate too is fine. This is a spectacular display and could well be repaired by a beader with some patience although virtually impossible to dismantle and completely rebuild! however, it looks great just sitting in its original box as it is. The original supplying jeweller was Payne's of Bond Street, jewellers to Queen Victoria. Unlike the box of the other set I am selling just now, the label on this one does not mention Albert so must have been produced after his death.
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  2. #2
    Rare Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Marianne's Avatar
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    Welcome Kithplana,
    Thank you for sharing these amazing pieces of art/needlework. I saw some 2mm seed pearls at a gem show this weekend, but they were end drilled whereas the ones in your photos appear to be belly drilled. Will keep my eyes open for you. Maybe some of our members in Asia would know of a carving artist who would do custom work in shell. Please keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Whew...you must have a LOT of patience! That's an amazing and detailed bit of work and I admire you for taking on a project like this ! Thanks for posting the great photos! Good luck! And be sure to keep us up to date...!

  4. #4
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this!

  5. #5
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member Alex's Avatar
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    What am amazing piece of craftmanship - how extraordinary

    the set, the detail, the MoP, even the box, all beautiful examples of a bygone age

    thanks for posting it
    Alex

  6. #6
    Pearl Maven Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Caitlin's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for that picture! When people only put the link, the photo goes away in 90 days. As is, it is recorded here for as long as the internet lasts.
    Caitlin

    How to hand-knot pearls without a tool

    My avatar is a Sea of Cortez mabe pearl. One of a pair of Mexican handmade earrings.

  7. #7
    Natural Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Ash's Avatar
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    Kithplana,

    Welcome to the forum! Have you checked Fire mountain Gems or Rio Grande for their seed pearls? There are more but my mind is drawing a blank. Hoping Others will chime in on that one. You are right this piece is too pretty to get lost to time. Good luck in your endeavor!! Please keep us posted on your progress!

    Cheers
    Ash
    Cheers,
    Ash

  8. #8
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Welcome and thank you for showing such an amazing suite.
    Pattye


    PatriciaSaabDesigns.etsy.com

    facebook.com/PatriciaSaabDesigns

    SO MANY PEARLS, SO LITTLE TIME----

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ash View Post
    Kithplana,

    Welcome to the forum! Have you checked Fire mountain Gems or Rio Grande for their seed pearls? There are more but my mind is drawing a blank. Hoping Others will chime in on that one. You are right this piece is too pretty to get lost to time. Good luck in your endeavor!! Please keep us posted on your progress!

    Cheers
    Ash
    D'oh. I checked Rio and all they seem to have is 2.5-3mm. I didn't think FMG had any that small until I went looking again. Turns out they do have buttons that small, so I'll have to pick up a strand and see how they look.

  10. #10
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Hi, Kithplana, I forgot to say welcome! Where are you located? I recall Inger at RainbowIslandPearls having little round pearls, and tiny round SS keshi. She's on ebay, located in S Florida, USA.

    Good hunting!

  11. #11

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    Thanks! I'm in Southern California. I'll take a look at what Inger has, too.

  12. #12
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    You certainly aim high, but what a wonderful set to re-create. I hope you find everything soon. Good Luck!

  13. #13

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    Time for an update, such as it is: I've been planning out and gathering my materials and sketching out designs. My goal is just to recreate the necklace; I don't wear earrings, and I'm undecided on the brooch right now. The necklace should keep me plenty busy, anyway

    I haven't had a lot of time to start refining my drawings for the base pieces. I did decide how I am going to produce them. I need something that's going to hold up well, be easy to produce, and not break the bank, and I'm getting the feeling that MOP carving may or may not be adequate for all three. To this end I think the best compromise is 3D printed nylon. The material I am looking at (White, Strong, and Flexible Polished at Shapeways) will be light and strong, and cost a few dollars per piece. The process of actually making the 3D model to print may or may not be difficult; my modeling skills are minimal but I know what steps I need to take. I think the biggest advantages are consistency and the ability to easily provide the same parts to anyone who's interested in taking on a similar project... this kind of necklace definitely needs to come back into style

    In other news, I'm happy with the seed pearls I got from Inger at RainbowIslandPearls. I know I will probably need more, but I at least have a starting point They are also very tiny. Very, very tiny.

    More updates as I progress -- my next step is to clean up my rough design sketches, and then get modeling...

  14. #14
    Perpetual Pearl Student Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert lisa c's Avatar
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    Hurray Inger! I'm glad she could get you started!

  15. #15
    Pearlista Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert GemGeek's Avatar
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    I'd love to see a photo of your tiny tiny pearls!

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