Rare luck

Antique shamrock with natural pearls & diamonds , around 1890

A lucky charm and at the same time a symbol that promises love: The clover is a plant with which numerous positive characteristics are associated. Thus, clover is the model for the playing card suit "cross" (French "Trèfle" = clover) and in English one says "to live in clover" to express that one leads a carefree life full of happiness and wealth. Moreover, medieval love poetry made the "green clover" a place of love encounter. The clover also has a romantic component in the Victorian language of flowers: Anna Burke's standard work "The Illustrated Language of Flowers" from 1856 lists the white clover under the meaning "Think of me". Here now a special luck has led to the fact that this piece of jewellery in clover form could originate at all. Set here are three quite extraordinary natural pearls, each of which had to be found and salvaged by divers at the bottom of the sea with great effort (and a good deal of luck!) and then made a journey around the world - only to become this special, precious arrangement in the midst of diamonds in high-carat gold. As small wonders of nature, jewels from the sea, real pearls were long valued like diamonds of equal size. Pearl by pearl, chains were put together until enough of the same size and color were together. It was not until the early 1920s that the Japanese Kokichi Mikimoto succeeded in cultivating pearls and thus making them accessible to a broader group of buyers. Even at the time of its creation, this piece of jewellery was distinguished by its special luxury. The preciousness of the pearls is underlined by the 55 old-cut diamonds with a total weight of 2.48 carats as well as the high-carat gold from which the piece of jewellery was forged. The cloverleaf can be worn as a brooch and pendant, making it a versatile piece of jewellery. Jewellery like this, in the shape of a clover with precious trimmings, was created in large numbers in the late years of the 19th century. Enclosed is an extract from a catalogue of the London jewellers Mappin & Webb from 1900, which shows a very similar, but less precious shamrock brooch at the bottom left. The trimming of the pieces varied greatly, however. We find examples in the literature with diamonds, with opals, with coloured stones - but a brooch set with such a precious selection of natural pearls is a real exception. Just how special the setting of this jewellery was at the time it was made is shown by the fact that comparable shamrock brooches were in the possession of Empress Sisi of Austria, which are now kept in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (-> KHM, Weltliche Schatzkammer, Inv. SK_WS_XIV_194).

The greatest treasure and finest gift of the sea is the pearl. Formed over long years by the toil of the shell, it delights us with its luster, its wonderful, unique color and luster. In the years around 1900 real pearls, which mostly came from the Persian Gulf, were still weighed out with gold. It was only after the 1920s in Japan that pearls were successfully cultivated in shells that broader sections of the population were able to afford pearl jewellery, but from cultured pearls, not real pearls. The present necklace, however, is made of completely naturally grown, i.e. genuine pearls, which were created without any human intervention. The rarity and preciousness of these treasures of the sea cannot be compared with cultured pearls. The beautiful necklace consists of a strand of delicate pearls that increase in size towards the center and are knotted. Jewellery made from natural pearls is more rare and precious today than ever before, as the numbers of the delicate oysters that produce these small pearls have been severely depleted.

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.


OUR PROMISE

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.

Play