Vanity Fair

Victorian Gold Necklace with Demantoids & Natural Pearls, circa 1895

"To be sure, it is all vanity, but who will not have to admit that he is quite fond of a little of it?" William Makepeace Thackeray asks us this in his novel Vanity Fair, a classic of British literature. And where, if not in the realm of jewelry, does this reflection fit better? Because, of course, none of the objects we've put together are really necessary. But they are all the more beautiful and full of joy for it. The British Art Nouveau necklace here has brought us particular joy. Its design of gold and countless pearls is elegant and seductive in its symmetry, lightness and clear dynamism: the typical curves, the so-called whiplashes of Art Nouveau, are staggered along the central axis. In between, a large oval is stretched out, richly studded with green luminescent demantoids like a luminous blossom. A large additional pearl is attached to the design below. The pendant is firmly attached to a chain close to the neck. A cruciform decorative element mediates between the actual collier chain and the pendant. This results in a particularly beautiful wearing shape. Based on its design and choice of material, the necklace can clearly be dated to the years shortly before 1900. For a splendid comparison, see David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 216.

The demantoid, its name meaning "diamond-like luster" is the most precious of all garnet varieties. Its color scale ranges from light green to yellowish green to intense emerald green - this shade is also by far the most expensive and is found almost exclusively in Russia. Demantoid in finest quality is found only very rarely, the few localities of this sought-after garnet from the Andradit group are in Russia (Ural), Madagascar (Ambanja) and Namibia (Erongo).

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.