The Italian Job

Antique Italian Mediterranean Coral Double Row Necklace, Around 1900

The natural salmon red of coral has always inspired jewellery designers and artists. Hardly a portrait of an Italian beauty is conceivable without the red pearls from the bottom of the sea embellishing earlobes or a décolleté. But while in the 19th and early 20th centuries the Mediterranean still produced many jewellery-quality corals, it is due to both climate change and overfishing of coral reefs that our modern age can hardly harvest this precious natural material. This necklace from around 1900 features beautiful salmon corals up to 9 millimeters in diameter. Their colouration is a fairly uniform shade of salmon, typical of the so-called "Corallo Sciacca" found off Sicily. the Two rows of hand-cut beads are arranged in graduated order and become thicker towards the center. A coral-studded clasp made of gold-plated tombac completes the beautiful necklace, which is strung with some room for movement so that it falls beautifully. Thus, a dream of longing from turn-of-the-century Italy has been preserved and continues to charm today.

Genuine Italian Mediterranean corals inspire to this day by their wonderfully rich play of colours with pronounced richness of variation. From the creamy white of the Adriatic coral to the delicate pink of the angel skin coral or Pelle d'Angelo to beautiful light and dark salmon red hues to the strong dark red colour known as oxblood or Moro coral, this wonderful natural material is characterized by the most beautiful colours of nature that the sea can produce. For centuries an integral part of princely and later also bourgeois art chambers, coral jewellery, especially from the region around the Bay of Naples, enjoyed popularity never experienced before, especially in the 19th century. The stocks of some coral species, which are now under strict conservation, as well as the demand for natural corals, which has increased dramatically in recent years, make coral jewellery today more than ever a sought-after treasure. Experts speak today, concerning the value of Mediterranean corals already of the "diamond of the future". Today, only antique pieces or corals from old stock come onto the market - the quantity is therefore limited and finite. So the value of corals can only increase!

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.