Late Georgian "MB" Silver Vinaigrette

About Details History
This silver Georgian vinaigrette is engraved with a pretty floral pattern framing a central marquise-shaped plaque with the initials "MB".  The case opens to reveal a gilt interior with an ornamental hinged grille. Back in the 1830s, when this piece was made, vinaigrettes were frequently carried by the upper classes and typically held smelling salts or a piece of perfumed cloth. These discreet little lockets were employed as an olfactory defense against the stench of 19th century cities, or as a means of reviving fainting ladies (or gentlemen). This piece is engraved with the initials of its original owner, "MB" within a lacy frame. The interior is prettily hallmarked with stamps for duty (the bust of William IV), maker (I&C), and fine silver (lion passant). Originally, this vinaigrette may have hung from a chatelaine or at the end of a fob chain, we have added a 20" sterling silver chain to make it into a wearable necklace.

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  • Materials: sterling silver, gilt interior
  • Age: c. 1835
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 3/9 x 2.5cm, 20" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace in person please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
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GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
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About Details History
This silver Georgian vinaigrette is engraved with a pretty floral pattern framing a central marquise-shaped plaque with the initials "MB".  The case opens to reveal a gilt interior with an ornamental hinged grille. Back in the 1830s, when this piece was made, vinaigrettes were frequently carried by the upper classes and typically held smelling salts or a piece of perfumed cloth. These discreet little lockets were employed as an olfactory defense against the stench of 19th century cities, or as a means of reviving fainting ladies (or gentlemen). This piece is engraved with the initials of its original owner, "MB" within a lacy frame. The interior is prettily hallmarked with stamps for duty (the bust of William IV), maker (I&C), and fine silver (lion passant). Originally, this vinaigrette may have hung from a chatelaine or at the end of a fob chain, we have added a 20" sterling silver chain to make it into a wearable necklace.

less
more

  • Materials: sterling silver, gilt interior
  • Age: c. 1835
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Size: 3/9 x 2.5cm, 20" chain
  • Location: To see this necklace in person please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.
less
more
GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
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more