New York or Hollywood?

Antique diamond necklace in white & yellow gold, USA circa 1925

The styles and fashions of history are not always clearly delineated; there are always transitions and blurred boundaries. This necklace is one such case: five diamonds set the pendant, which is firmly mounted on a delicate chain. Three pendulums are movably attached to a central piece, which is dissolved into geometric, angular forms. Brightly shimmering white gold covers the front and the settings of the diamonds. The body of the necklace and the pendulums, on the other hand, are made of yellow gold. The curved basic shape of the pendant and the idea of attaching pendulums of different lengths to it is a design idea that was developed in the years around 1900 and is usually encountered in pieces of jewellery that speak the language of Art Nouveau in their detailed forms. Here, however, an angular geometry has the floor, and together with the cool colour tone of the materials, we are reminded of the forms of Art Deco. It is thus a jewel of the transition from one fashion to the next and combines the most beautiful of both styles: the elegant, cool colourfulness of Art Déco and the agitated, playful formal language of Art Nouveau. According to its hallmark, the necklace was made in the USA. Here white gold was common in jewellery production since about 1918. The necklace was probably made shortly thereafter. We discovered it in Hamburg.

The name Belais is associated with one thing above all else in the United States: White gold. For under David Belais, who founded the company in 1863, experiments were conducted for many years with gold alloys that would combine the white color of platinum with the advantages of gold. However, when Belais registered his patent in 1918, the German Karl Richter from Pforzheim, who had registered his own, somewhat different patent for white gold in 1913, was already ahead of him. Due to the World War, however, Richter's invention was hardly used for the time being, and so it was finally the name Belais, at least in the USA, that became synonymous with high-carat white gold.

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