Vacation Ready

Antique bangle with salmon coral & pearls, Italy circa 1890

The bracelet here takes us to a summer more than 130 years ago. Because summer jewelry, or memory of such, corals have always been. The great journey to the south, to Italy with its art treasures from antiquity to modern times still 19th century the quintessence of classical education. Then, at the turn of the 20th century, ever larger circles of society could afford to travel to the beautiful south. And of course, souvenirs of this stay had to be brought home. From Naples, these were mainly corals and gems carved in shell, for the production of which this region has always been famous. The present bangle combines salmon-colored pearls and boutons of Mediterranean coral to form a floral motif, which adorns the front of the bangle. This characteristic color came about as a result of an undersea volcanic eruption in 1831, which had caused numerous corals in the Mediterranean to die. In 1875, these stocks, which had by then faded to a soft salmon color, were discovered and made into jewelry. By the end of the century, the stocks had been exhausted. Thus, we have many pieces of jewelry from the late 19th century with pastel coral trim, which at the same time confirms their early origin. The corals together with small pearls are set in gold plated silver. A perfect piece of jewelry for those who dream of Italian summers all year round - a true vacation hoop indeed!

In July 1831, an undersea volcano erupted in front of the town of Sciacca, located on the southern coast of Sicily. Fishermen watched the explosions and were astonished to discover that the volcano had formed a new island. Immediately after the eruptions ended, a fierce dispute broke out as to which country the new island should belong to. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies considered it a natural part of its territory and named it Ferninandea after its king, Ferdinand II. However, Great Britain also claimed the new land, strategically located on important shipping routes, and named it Graham Island. The French fleet also claimed the island, which it called Julia, and Spain also laid claim to it. The dispute was finally settled by nature: By 1832, the waves had eroded the island to such an extent that it sank into the sea and remained only as a shoal. But what does this have to do with corals? The repeated submarine volcanic eruptions and numerous earthquakes had killed large quantities of corals, which formed one of the richest deposits in the entire Mediterranean. These subfossil corals had taken on a salmon hue due to storage in the water, which made them unmistakable. This treasure of the sea was discovered in 1875 when Bettu Ammareddu, captain of a trawler, was fishing on the shoal that was once the island. According to the legend, his necklace, which he had received as a gift from his beloved, fell into the water. When he dove for the necklace he found that the seabed was covered all over with coral. Soon the mining of the corals began, but just as quickly, already in 1915, the deposits were completely exhausted.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.