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Victorian Carved Gold Fist with Turquoise Bracelet

About Details History
In Ancient Rome, a branch of coral worn around the neck was believed to shield the wearer from harm. Similarly, the Ancient Greeks thought that coral could reverse the ill effects of poisoning and evil spells. Coral, one of the most valuable of the organic gemstones, has been regarded as a sacred gem with talismanic properties across many cultures and even more centuries. In the mid 19th century, Italian jewelry-carvers used the gem as a medium to create cameos and miniatures like this coral fist with a turquoise bracelet in a swirling gold wire mount as souvenirs for upper class Brits to buy while on the Grand Tour. Hangs from a new 18" 14k gold chain.

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  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), coral, turquoise cabochon, new 14k gold chain
  • Age: c. 1850
  • Condition: Very good
  • Size: 1 1/8" length and 1/2" at the widest point, 18" chain
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VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
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About Details History
In Ancient Rome, a branch of coral worn around the neck was believed to shield the wearer from harm. Similarly, the Ancient Greeks thought that coral could reverse the ill effects of poisoning and evil spells. Coral, one of the most valuable of the organic gemstones, has been regarded as a sacred gem with talismanic properties across many cultures and even more centuries. In the mid 19th century, Italian jewelry-carvers used the gem as a medium to create cameos and miniatures like this coral fist with a turquoise bracelet in a swirling gold wire mount as souvenirs for upper class Brits to buy while on the Grand Tour. Hangs from a new 18" 14k gold chain.

less
more

  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), coral, turquoise cabochon, new 14k gold chain
  • Age: c. 1850
  • Condition: Very good
  • Size: 1 1/8" length and 1/2" at the widest point, 18" chain
less
more
VICTORIAN (1837 - 1901) The Western world was thoroughly transformed during Queen Victoria’s epically long reign. New technology, urbanization, and industrialization created a middle class flush with disposable income, and for the first time, jewelry was mass-produced to sell to everyone. The Victorians were avid consumers and novelty-seekers, especially when it came to fashion, and numerous fads came and went throughout the 19th century. In jewelry, whatever fashion choices Queen V. made reverberated throughout the kingdom. The Romantic period reflected the queen’s legendary love for her husband, Albert. Jewelry from this period featured joyful designs like flowers, hearts, and birds, all which often had symbolic meaning. The queen’s betrothal ring was made in the shape of a snake, which stood for love, fidelity, and eternity. The exuberant tone shifted after Prince Albert passed away in 1861, marking the beginning of the Grand Period. Black jewelry became de rigeur as the Queen and her subjects entered “mourning,” which at the time represented not just an emotional state, as we conceive of it today, but a specific manner of conduct and dress. She wore the color black for the remainder of her life, and we see lots of black onyx, enamel, jet, and gutta percha in the jewelry from this time. Finally, during the late Victorian period, which transitioned along with a rapidly changing world into the “Aesthetic Movemement”, there was a return to organic and whimsical motifs: serpents, crescent moons, animals, and Japonaisserie designed for the more liberated “Gibson Girl”. During the second half of the 19th century, America entered the global jewelry market, with Tiffany and Co. leading the way. Lapidaries continued to perfect their techniques, and the old European cut emerged toward the end of the Victorian period. The discovery of rich diamond mines in South Africa made the colorless stones more accessible than ever before.
less
more