Neptune's treasure

Delicate necklace with baroque natural pearl & diamond roses, around 1910

"The beauty bestowed upon pearls is worthy of the thousands of daring divers, the coastal dwellers of the Persian Gulf, the daring pearl fishermen of Ceylon and Japan, who do not fear the terrors and dangers of the deep, who do not shy away from encounters with sharks and sawfish, who do not fear the deadly embrace of the polyps, in order to bring the pearl shell, which lies on the dark sea bed, to the bright light of the sun. But not every one of these shells rewards the toil and complaint of its robber, and hundreds deceive the hopeful expectation of delicious contents. If, however, one is found which contains the longed-for treasure, it is not infrequent that it gives the lucky finder many pearls of different sizes. Varied in form, in colour from the deepest black to the most dazzling white, often also yellowish, more rarely shimmering in pink, lovely through its glittering enamel, the pearl has known how to win for itself in its esteem the place next to the colour-sparkling diamond." With these words the magazine "Der Bazar" in 1888 described the toils and dangers of pearl fishing. The passage vividly shows us why pearls were so precious in those years - for the invention of the cultured pearl and with it the assured, danger-free harvesting of the precious gem was still in the future. Accordingly, fine natural pearls were often not just framing accessories, but were chosen as the protagonists of precious jewels. Just as with diamonds, the value of a pearl increased exponentially with its size. The present necklace bears witness to the esteem in which the pearl was held. According to its design, workmanship and materiality, it was created around 1910 and dates from a time before cultured pearls were available on the European market. A large natural pearl stands at the centre of the pendant. Its shape is baroque, and it is richly detailed and individual. Partially it has a silky luster, partially it is shimmering and bright. Natural irregularities of the surface let it reflect the light in different ways. The geometric frame of the pearl seems to emphasize its baroque form in contrast. It is crafted in platinum on gold, typical of the period, and set with clear, open-set diamond roses. Outwardly, a border of small seed pearls frames the firmly mounted pendant. A delicate, original chain with box clasp completes the design. We were able to discover the pendant in the port city of Hamburg. A fine, unique gem from the last years of the Belle Époque, reminiscent of a time when large pearls were rare lucky finds from the depths of the sea.

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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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