The snow princess' most beautiful adornment

Antique necklace with 1,30 ct diamonds & natural pearl, Russia, around 1910

When in summer in St. Petersburg the sun did not quite set even at night, and still at midnight a light twilight played around the golden towers of the city on the Neva, then the aristocracy of the old Tsarist Empire celebrated itself. Grand balls in the noble palaces, receptions, soirees, opera performances - the ladies of society, in grand robes and adorned with the most beautiful diamonds, danced until the soles of their shoes had holes in them. Even today, the champagne flows in great waves during those "White Nights". This dreamlike necklace may have been part of one or the other of those nights. Entirely in keeping with the fashion of the years around 1910, the piece is designed as a mesh of the finest metal bars, which bear radiant white old-cut diamonds and a large natural pearl. The pearl, in warm white luster, is the center of the composition. A circle of gold with platinum overlay is set around it. Two old-cut diamonds follow towards the bottom, one of which is attached to the necklace as a gently swinging pendulum. Towards the top, on the other hand, numerous other diamonds mediate to the two chains of the necklace. The transitions between the individual parts of the piece are divided into many small elements, which are connected by smooth-running hinges. Thus, the necklace falls easily and softly and is comfortable to wear. At the end of the chains there is a clasp with a safety clasp. It, too, is set with additional diamonds. The hallmarks on the back clearly place the piece in Russia; its shape and workmanship allow us to date it to around 1910. For the dating of the piece, see, among others, David Bennett/Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, London 2010, p. 281f.

White jewels, i.e. jewellery in white colouring, celebrate light. The innovation of electric light turned night into day at the end of the 19th century. Consequently, jewellery could now shine in the evening as never before. At the great balls in Paris, London and St. Petersburg, ever more splendid diamond necklaces were presented, as well as tiaras, brooches and rings, all dreams in white diamonds. Their forms were initially inspired by Napoleon's classicism. Delicate leaves and geometric patterns formed the basis. With the advent of modernism, the designs became more abstract and dynamic, and the formal world of Art Deco prevailed. White jewels are often set with natural pearls in addition to diamonds. The value of natural pearls compared to cultured pearls is obvious - just like natural gemstones, they are small natural wonders. 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 was 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.


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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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