The age of light

Antique diamond & pearl necklace in platinum, circa 1910

Large, round or oval pendants were a particular fashion of the first years of the 20th century. Sometimes they are designed as a frame around which fluttering ribbons wrap, then as an arrangement of laurel vines. There are examples that are completely filled with diamonds, or that look like embroideries of light through delicate bars of platinum. The large pendant of the necklace here is such a piece, created in the years around 1910. It is oval and presents a large pearl in its center. Sparkling diamonds surround it like satellites of light. Delicate saw marks divide the curved platinum surface, which looks like a precious, unearthly blossom. Just how much the first decades of the 20th century loved the colour white in jewellery can still be seen today in pieces such as this necklace. The new electric light had radically changed visual habits in Europe, and a new age, the Age of Light, had dawned. The pendant is firmly set on a necklace of cultured pearls. A clasp, also of platinum and diamonds, holds the necklace securely in place. The pearls of the jewel have been renewed in later times, the antique pendant has survived the passage of time in first class condition. An independent expert's report has confirmed the quality of the materials and accompanies the necklace. David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 284f. has compiled some fine examples of this type of pendant, which help to date the piece of jewellery here as well.

With the invention of gaslight and then electric light at the end of the 19th century, glistening brightness suddenly filled the ballrooms of Europe. No more dark, yellow candlelight, but the white glow of hundreds of lamps made the ladies' jewellery shine and glitter as never before. Not surprisingly, a new fashion also emerged in the wake of these developments: white jewels made of diamonds and silver responded to the new lighting conditions, replacing the previous more colorful designs; in general, jewelry was increasingly richly set with sparkling gemstones to create an ever more luxurious and rich appearance. The name of the era, the Belle Époque, still indicates the goal of the period: To shine in beauty.

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.