Black and white

Antique bracelet of natural pearls & onyx with gold clasp, around 1900

Six strands of fine natural pearls, grown wild without human intervention are strung together with wax beads in this bracelet and show up in six strands as a bracelet. A beautiful clasp made of gold, in which an octagonal cut onyx is embedded and in the middle of which a small golden flower shimmers, which is also set with pearls, forms the showpiece. How precious natural pearls were in the years of the turn of the century is shown by an article in the Deutsche Goldschmiedezeitung of 1910: "As is well known, pearls today form the magic word that makes the heart of every worldly lady beat faster, and to an ever-increasing extent pearls are pushing the red-hot rubies, the sparkling emeralds, and even the flashing brilliants into the background. [...] Formerly the valuable pearls were fished almost exclusively in the Persian Gulf, and more especially near the Bahrain Islands, but for some years past very considerable quantities of pearls of high value have been brought to light from the bottom of the sea in the coastal waters of Australia, especially Queensland, and in the years 1901 to 1907 no less than 4640 tons of pearl shells were fished, the value of which the statistics give as nearly 14 million crowns. (One crown 5.10 Mk.)" Deutsche Goldschmiede-Zeitung, No. 45, 1910, p. 399. Because of the rarity and high value of genuine pearls, and the bracelet tells its own story. Apparently, when the piece of jewellery was commissioned, there were not enough Oriental pearls available to make it entirely from such. Since cultured pearls had not yet been invented, the workshop that made the bracelet used a few wax pearls, early imitation pearls that do not stand out among the real pearls. When we had the bracelet re-strung, we decided to keep the few wax pearls as they are, together with the natural oriental pearls. Because they are part of its history. The bracelet found its way to us in Salzburg and is today, as it was more than 120 years ago, a beautiful piece of jewellery with a charm all of its own.

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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.