Jewel of Regent Street

Precious necklace with 3.15 ct diamonds in platinum, Stewart Dawson, London circa 1920

It sounds like a fairy tale: In 1871, at the age of only 22, the young David Stewart Dawson founded a jewellery and watch shop in Liverpool. But after these jewels had already found enormous appeal in 1876 through advertisements in magazines in Australia, where many citizens had just come to some wealth and prestige after the "gold rush" that began in the 1850s, the young merchant emigrated to Sydney. He was able to open further shops in numerous Australian cities and also in New Zealand; and through his influence there, retroactively to the British homeland, he was eventually able to operate a shop in London's illustrious Regent Street. The former owner of this necklace, who bought it in that shop in the years around 1920, also moved in circles that regularly frequented that splendid shopping street. The jewel is so precious that it must have been one of the highlights of the jeweller's shop window at the time: Some 3.15 ct of diamonds in old hand-set cuts sparkle in a bed of platinum. The use of this precious metal underlines the value of the piece, as it was far more expensive than gold at the time and was only rarely used until the 1930s. The piece of jewellery is entirely white and perfectly in keeping with the fashion of its time. Stylistically, it stands exactly on the threshold between the gently curved forms of the Belle Époque and the linear geometry of the Art Deco. An oscillating diamond of around half a carat in the oval centrepiece is a last reminder of the mobile, gently flowing lavallières of the turn of the century, before fashion took a path towards graphic austerity. The richly appointed necklace is present in its size, yet elegantly restrained in its formal language. It is beautifully preserved and ready to be worn again after nearly a century.

White jewels, i.e. pieces of jewellery in white, celebrate light. The innovation of the electric light bulb 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 magnificent diamond necklaces were presented, as well as tiaras, brooches and rings, all dreams in white diamonds. When, at the beginning of the 20th century, platinum and finally white gold found their way into the jewellers' shop windows, this white brilliance was complete and the night was turned into day.

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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.