Brilliant enamel

Wonderful bracelet of oriental pearls with diamond clasp, around 1880

"The beauty bestowed upon pearls is worthy of thousands of daring divers, coast dwellers of the Persian Gulf, the daring pearl fishermen of Ceylon and Japan, who do not fear the terrors and dangers of the deep, the encounter with sharks and sawfish, the deadly embrace of the polyps, in order to bring the pearl shells lying on the dark 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 place next to the colour-sparkling diamond." With these words, the magazine "Der Bazar" described the hards and dangers of pearl fishing in 1888. At that time, the cultivated pearls that are common today were still unthinkable, for it would be half a human lifetime before the Japanese entrepreneur Mikimoto succeeded in growing pearls in shells on a large scale. In this bracelet we see just such genuine oriental pearls, each of which was fetched from the sea by a diver. It is hard to imagine how many shells were necessary to get the pearls of this piece of jewellery together, because not every oyster harbours such a small treasure. The natural pearls strung here, four rows in total, are all slightly different in size, not always quite round, but all of a beautiful luster. A round-worked clasp of gold with a face of silver is the showpiece of the pearl bracelet, which was created in the years around 1880. 64 diamonds in old cuts are arranged here to form an openwork ornament. Some of the diamonds show very early cuts, some of which can be dated to the early 18th century and are thus used here in a secondary application. Bracelets and bracelets were from time immemorial the jewellery of the better-off strata of society, because physical or even everyday work was hindered by such, if it did not run the risk of being damaged. Since pearls were as expensive as diamonds of the same size before the invention of the cultured pearl, as Queen Victoria's diary reveals, this bracelet can also be attributed to a wealthy wearer. We discovered the piece of jewellery in Budapest, but its matching casket is of English origin.

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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.


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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.

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