Opal o'clock

Antique opal with diamonds as bracelet & pendant, Great Britain circa 1910

The Harrop jewellers were already an authority on London's Rosebery Avenue when Edwin George Harrop took over the company in 1894 after the death of his father. Just a few years later, in 1906, he came up with an invention that earned him a special place in jewelry and watch history: a very special link bracelet. Hidden springs in each link meant that his bracelets could simply be pulled apart, and were therefore stretchable. He called his invention "Britannic", and in 1907 he was granted British Patent No. 24396/06. From then on, all genuine Britannic bracelets bore a hand engraving inside with their name and details of the patent. They became particularly popular as watch straps, for example for early Rolex watches. Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex AG, even wrote in his "Rolex Vademecum" that the early success of Rolex watches in Britain was partly due to these bracelets. Britannic bracelets were still being produced until at least 1964. That they were also used in the field of high-end jewellery is proven by the present piece of jewellery, a particularly early Britannic bracelet from around 1910, which features the engravings mentioned above. Its centerpiece is special, a large Australian opal with a rich play of colors in pink, green and blue, shimmering intensely with every movement and resembling confetti. The opal and its diamond-set setting can be unscrewed from the back and then turned into a pendant by means of a matching eyelet, also set with diamonds. In this way, the piece of jewellery can also be worn on a chain, depending on one's mood. Such dual uses were not uncommon at the time, as people (or women) liked to be sure that an investment would pay off twice over. The jewel is made of 15-carat gold, a typically British alloy that was only used until 1932. However, a layer of platinum on top makes it appear white, allowing the diamonds and opal to reach their full radiance.

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.


OUR PROMISE

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.

Play