Jewellery, Watches and Objects of Vertu (23 November 2021)

Date of Auction: 23rd November 2021

Sold for £4,600

Estimate: £4,000 - £6,000

A mid 19th century gold necklace and bracelet suite, circa 1840, composed of ornate repoussé work, the broad collar with central detachable brooch suspending three pear-shaped detachable drops ‘en girandole’ below, with bracelet en suite, necklace length 43.0cm, bracelet length 18.0cm, brooch width 6.0cm (lacking pin fitting to reverse), contained in fitted case. £4,000-£6,000


Jewellery design between 1820-40 closely followed the evolution of fashion and technical innovation. The generous décolletages of ball and evening gowns of the 1830s, with low sweeping necklaces and bare shoulders, plus large oversized puffed sleeves, favoured the wearing of substantial necklaces, brooches and long pendent earrings. Towards 1840, parures of elaborate scrollwork, stamped out of sheet gold, began to be the choice of the fashionable elite. Although manufactured out of thin gauge gold, these suites had the appearance of great substance.
This impression is however, somewhat deceptive, as the pieces are usually very light, cleverly achieving an opulent effect with the minimum amount of gold”. (Clare Phillips)

See: Jewels & Jewellery by Clare Phillips, Thames & Hudson, V & A, pub. 2019, page 84.