Don't be afraid of the sawfish!

Antique natural pearls necklace with clasp of diamonds & gold, around 1910

"Well is the beauty bestowed upon pearls worthy that thousands of bold divers, coast-dwellers of the Persian Gulf, that the daring pearl-fishermen of Ceylon and Japan do not respect the terrors and dangers of the deep, do not shrink from an encounter with sharks and saw-fish, do not fear the fatal embrace of the polyps, in order to bring the pearl-shell, lying on a gloomy sea-bottom, to the bright light of the sun. But not every one of these shells rewards the toil and complaint of its robber, and hundreds deceive the hopeful expectation of delicious contents. If, however, one is found which contains the longed-for treasure, it is not infrequent that it gives the lucky finder many pearls of different sizes. Varied in form, in colour from the deepest black to the most dazzling white, often also yellowish, more rarely shimmering in pink, lovely through its glittering enamel, the pearl has known how to win for itself in its esteem the places next to the colour-sparkling diamond." "The Pearl," Der Bazar, 1888. With this small article, the magazine "Der Bazar" in 1888 described the difficulties of pearl fishing. At that time the cultured pearls now common were not yet to be thought of, for it would be half a man's lifetime before the Japanese entrepreneur Mikimoto succeeded in growing pearls on a large scale in shells over nacreous nuclei. In this necklace we see just such genuine oriental pearls, each of which was recovered from the bottom of the sea by a diver. One can hardly imagine how many shells were necessary to gather the pearls of this piece of jewellery, because not every oyster harbours such a small treasure. The natural pearls lined up here, three rows in total, are all slightly different in size, slightly baroque, but all of a beautiful, slightly golden luster. An angular clasp of gold holds the pearls with a setting of diamonds and a halved pearl in the center. Since pearls were sometimes as expensive as diamonds of the same size before the invention of the cultured pearl, as Queen Victoria's diary reveals, this necklace can also be attributed to a wealthy wearer. We discovered the piece of jewellery in Budapest and it was made in the years around 1890. We have had the pearls reknotted and strung so that its future wearer can enjoy it for a long time. The necklace comes with a detailed appraisal from the German Society for Gemstone Appraisal, Idar-Oberstein.

Natural pearls have always belonged in the art and wonder chambers of the rulers of Europe. The value of natural pearls compared to cultured pearls is obvious, since they are small natural wonders, just like natural gemstones. The price of natural pearls in the years around 1900 was about the same as that of diamonds of the same size, and pearls for a necklace were usually purchased individually for reasons of cost and collected until a strand had been assembled. The magic that emanates from natural pearls can hardly be put into words, as each natural pearl is different from the next and has its own luster, structure and shine. They are always wonderful unique specimens of nature - which are hard to find today.

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.