ANTIQUE PIETRA DURA GARDEN FLOWER FLORAL BOUQUET VICTORIAN 1850s Grand Tour Antique 19th Century Italian Italy Giardinetti Bouquet Floral Jewelry Onyx Agate ONE OF A KIND ARTISAN
An exceptional circa 1850 Pietra Dura Pendant Locket Brooch in 14K yellow gold and fine sterling silver.
Pietra Dura literally translated means 'Hard stone". This highly skilled and time consuming technique involves the inlay of hand carved sections of precious and fine natural gemstones. Floral motifs were common and often communicated specific messages to the recipient as was common in the Victorian Language of flowers. In this beautiful bouquet there are fuchsias, a central rose, some forget me knots, daisies and lily of the valley. These flowers denoted purity, loyalty, beauty, memories and true love. The lilies clearly state the message "you've made my life complete".
The early pietra dura jewelry had much finer detail and is a world apart from pieces from the late Victorian era. This amazing piece has intricate detailing right down to different set stones for each lovely minute petal in the central rose of the fine bouquet. Later pietra dura inlay was not cut as accurately and looked crude in comparison to pieces such as this one.
Hand cut fine gemstones used to make the central plaque include exquisite untreated natural turquoise of exquisite color, red coral, green chalcedony as well as white and black onyx.
These items were purchased on the Grant Tour of Italy and were expensive in their day. Examples such as this pendant are rare to fine on the market today.
It is a multipurpose jewel. It can be worn as a pin or hung on silk velvet or a fine chain as a necklace. The reverse of the pin pendant has original a locket compartment wherein to place tresses of a loved one or a photo.
This fine antique jewel measures 2 1/4" long and is 1 3//8" wide (58mm x 35mm). The locket itself measures 1 5/16" long and is 15/16" wide (34mm x 23mm). It is entirely hand crafted.
White gold hasn't been invented in the 1850s and platinum was not used to craft jewelry until the 1890s. As such silver was used as a precious jewelry making material whenever the desired color of the setting was white. In the exquisitely designed frame for the pietra dura plaquette required vary colored metals including yellow and white. The frame has been exquisitely crafted from fine sterling silver and yellow gold typical for the period.
Aside from it's intrinsic aesthetic beauty and value as a rare antique jewel I adore this pendant for it's romantic sentiment.
This superb piece comes with an Appraisal Certificate from a professional gemologist and registered Antique Jewelry Appraiser.