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18th century? pin with pearls

claudenancy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
247
Hi all: Today I was shown a collection of jewelry that antique dealers who are friends of a friend are selling.

THey had some very nice pieces. One object was a pin with small pearls. They have evaluated the metal work on the pin as 18th century. If this is the case and if the pearls are contemporary to the metal work, then the pearls would be natural. They snapped some photographs of the pin.

I know that no definite conclusions can be drawn from photographs, but I was curious if anyone had any educated guesses as to whether the pearls look like they are original to the brooch, and if so, what kind of pearls are they?


Just wondering, thanks for your expertise.

Regards, Beth
 

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claudenancy

Well-known member
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Jul 2, 2008
Messages
247
I failed to state specifically the first question for any of the antique jewelry experts out there. Does the metalwork appear to be 18th century to you, and if so, any particular origin? British? Thanks again, Beth
 

Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Hi,

At least one of the pearls has been replaced. Front, bottom left. It shows a drill hole. Can't see if any others do. I am presuming it is gold work and to me it looks later than the 18th Century. I am not an expert but have had a bit of experience with antique jewellery. But I would say late Victorian or even Edwardian at the earliest and possibly a lot later. I tend to think later. I don't think that type of brooch securing method came in until early 20th century. Just my opinion though.

As to what kind of pearls I would suggest they take another photo or several and at least a couple from the top. The pearls look a bit milky to me but that might just be the photo. Get them to take photos on white draining paper. They could be naturals, maybe river pearls.

Even if all the pearls have been drilled it doesn't mean they aren't naturals of some kind. Need better photos though.

Dawn
eBay ID dawncee333
 

pearlescence

purveyor of pearls
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
3,862
Hi
Probably not UK origin as it has no hallmark and (I am assuming) it will be well over the minimum weight, therefore unlawful to sell. (only exception is if made for oneself)
 

claudenancy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
247
Thanks Wendy, I wondered about that mechanism too. The color of the pearls were very uniform, they looked bleached to me. I was uncertain if natural pearls, even river pearls, would have been processed. I assume that this would have been unlikely with very old pearls. I will suggest that they take better photos.

Thanks again for sharing your expertise.

Regards, Beth
 

la_corsetiere

Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 11, 2007
Messages
1,032
The pinback is definitely 20th century, but was probably not original to the piece. The workmanship of the setting does look older than the pinback. Hard to tell from the photo, but if that loop is open, it could have been a watch pin, which would likely put it late-19th to early-20th century. If the loop is closed, it would have been a pendant, with the clasp added afterwards, which could possibly imply that the metalwork is older.

Sheri
 

cupajo

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
4
The brooch itself to me appears to be Victorian, definitely 19th century, not 18th century. Due to the poor quality of the photographs I can't tell about the pearls being natural or not. Previously drilled natural pearls were used in antique jewelry because they were hard to get. The clasp is definitely not original to the piece and is a 20th century replacement. Some of the pearls look suspiciously rice-like. Better quality photos would definitely help. Is the metal all gold or gold topped silver?
 

Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Hi claudenancy,

The clasp is 20th century as I mentioned earlier but as to if it could have been added later is up to debate. If if was then the pearls if original would have had to be removed for that work to be done. As I said one of the pearls obviously has been drilled so if you can have a look at the piece and check it out for other drill holes and yes have them take better photos of it. Many pieces are altered over the years and it is possible that when and if the clasp was altered some of the peals were damaged and hence only some were replaced.

Just had another look at the photos and the clasp does seem to have been altered or added.

pearlescence - I agree Wendy - as one of the most wonderful things about British pieces are there hallmarks. Love them. Wendy what is the weight laws. Would be very interested to know as I am sure others would.

la_corsetiere, I didn't notice the pendant hanger before. But surely many pieces have both pendant and brooch devices. There does on close inspection seem to be an alteration with the clasp for pin/brooch. Strange position to put it though. I still don't think it would be much earlier than Edwardian or late Victorian and it could be a lot younger. The workmanship looks good though. I am not sure what the closed or not closed loop means though. Can you explain for all of us that are ignorant of the relevance?

++++

I have just looked at a couple of brooches/pins I have and if anyone thinks it would help I will take photos tomorrow and upload them. Need to recharge batteries.

Workmanship was generally good Victorian, Edwardian etc up until the modern times when things became mass produced.

cupajo - brings up some great points. Many pieces are such as pearls are used again so as I said before just because some may have been drilled does not mean that they are not natural or that it is not very old or replacement of pearls was not done 50 to 100 years ago. Also, yes some of the pearls do a little rice like but some keshi pearls can look like this. We do need much better photos. We all love photos too so try to bore us stupid with loads of photos so we can help you and your friends :)

Great thread. Helps us all to learn via this kind of post. Let us keep looking into this and the pearls as well. Hey, anyone else got any ideas. But we do need better photos.

Dawn (Bodecia)
eBay seller ID dawncee333
 

GemGeek

Pearlista
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,235
I asked Cupajo to comment because she is a highly experienced appraiser who also happens to love pearls. And she's a fan of Octavia -- in fact -- Cupajo is responsible for Octavia's developing a taste for cocktails. ;)
 

claudenancy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2008
Messages
247
Thanks to the expertise of the contributors here this has evolved into a very educational thread. Thanks Dawn for you detailed responses, I had a senior moment when I failed to mention you in the earlier post--I had certainly intended to do so!

I do not know what the material is. I know that it has not, at least recently, been polished, but I was not able to tell the metal or whether or not it was gold. My friends thought so, but this was I think an opinion. I am not aware of any tests being done.
They are going out of town, but I will suggest to them to take better photographs when they return.

Thanks again Dawn, Sheri, Cupajo,Blaire and Wendy!
 

la_corsetiere

Super Moderator
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Jul 11, 2007
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1,032
la_corsetiere, I didn't notice the pendant hanger before. But surely many pieces have both pendant and brooch devices. There does on close inspection seem to be an alteration with the clasp for pin/brooch. Strange position to put it though. I still don't think it would be much earlier than Edwardian or late Victorian and it could be a lot younger. The workmanship looks good though. I am not sure what the closed or not closed loop means though. Can you explain for all of us that are ignorant of the relevance?
QUOTE]

Looking again at the photo, it appears the loop is closed, thus set up for a pendant. I was initially thinking that it could be a hook to hang a watch from, but it looks too small in proportion to the rest of the pin to be used in that fashion.

Antique watch pins often have a pinback in the middle to top third of the piece, with a hook at the bottom from which to suspend the watch. Quite common for late-19th or early-20th century, when pendant watches were still very popular (and wrist watches quite rare).

I agree that apart from the pinback, the metalwork looks to be late 19th or early 20th century (Victorian or Edwardian, or the equivalent).

Sheri
 

GemGeek

Pearlista
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
9,235
Note - that loop on the piece could also be a more recent addition.

On closer inspection, I agree. Old jewelry is fascinating. In August, the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers is having their four day summer conference on "Antique Jewelry: Myth VS Facts" with an incredible lineup of speakers. You don't have to belong to go, but there's a fee. ;) It's in Rhode Island and the brochure is here: http://www.najaappraisers.com/NAJASpring2010.pdf

It's not pearl-specific, but I'll post it. ;)
 
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Bodecia

Pearl Designer & Collector
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Jan 25, 2007
Messages
952
Hi claudenancy, you are welcome. Would love to see more photos when they can take them.

Dawn
eBay Seller ID dawncee333
 

Ash

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Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
1,084
To my novice and untrained eyes it looks early 20th century, similar to some Items I remember my grandma wear when I was little. But it's a guess. Good luck., It's a pretty piece.

Cheers
Ash
 

AMc

McA
Joined
Sep 18, 2006
Messages
893
Hi There Bodecia, Claudenancy and La corsitaire- and welcome to the forum, Cupajo!

I had a question that has to do with antique jewelry (I am not as well versed in these areas as you ladies)- well, two actually. I hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but here goes:

I am trying to find out when the first pearl stud earrings were made- I've been combing through Strack and can't find any references to this specific jewelry type. I know that the Romans wore pearl earrings, but due to the metal-working and drilling technology available at the time, my first thought would be that dangle pearl earrings would be more prevalent as they would likely be far easier to make... All the subsequent images that I have come across during my search depict fully-drilled pearls, so I'm assuming that the delicate half-drilling method that requires more precision wasn't in use until after the middle ages? However, much like the clawed/pronged setting in the brooch shown earlier in this thread would be a way around that problem.

I found these Freshwater baroque pearl earrings which an online antique dealer claims are Victorian era, but the metal posts are obviously modern replacements, as they are notched at the far end. So... any thoughts?
 

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AMc

McA
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Sep 18, 2006
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893
I recall the story- can you believe that pearl retained such a lovely luster after 2,000 years buried?? It boggles the mind! :eek:

Still, this particular piece looks as though it's been fully drilled and threaded with gold wire in the back.

Love your blog, by the way! :cool:
 
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