In the realm of jewellery, an item is classified as Antique if it was crafted at least 100 years ago; some periods and styles are usefully and creatively divided into descriptive subcategories dramatically showcasing the advent of changing materials and design aesthetics. Interestingly, as the years pass, Art Deco items, including those with a circa date of 1920, will be gradually moving into Antique terminology territory related to age but will always be referenced as Art Deco in terms of their notable and distinctive design.
Past eras encompass Georgian, Renaissance Revival, the various Archeological Revivals covering Etruscan and Egyptian motifs, to turn-of-the-century Victorian, Belle Époque or Edwardian.
Revival designs are evocative of and inspired by the monumental historic excavations of the Ancient world like the opening of the tombs of Egypt, the spectacular hoards found in Roman ruins, the paintings of the de Medici family by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
Notice the attention to detail displayed by the wardrobe department responsible for a “costume” drama and you’ll see how beautifully jewels of the era, whether faux or real, portray another time, place, class hierarchy, and often an abundant, over-the-top lifestyle.
Common elements can include natural pearls, untreated coloured gemstones, table-cut and rose-cut diamonds in closed-back settings of silver and yellow gold, cabochon-cut gems such as garnet, agate and turquoise, all contributing to a piece of superb craftsmanship.
Themes and motifs include sentimental mourning jewels, cameos, snakes, celestial and botanical motifs, double-chains, pendeloque chandelier drops, enamel and fine pampilles and canetille work, and not to be overlooked, secret compartments, too. For those in the know, there just might be either a covert or an overt meaning to decipher. Matching suites, called parures or demi-parures, were popular choices for ladies of a certain social standing, And a matching tiara fits nicely in a fitted box.
An Antique Pair of Diamond, Silver and Gold Ear Pendants
The scalloped florets with a pair of old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 1.70 carats, amid smaller old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.50 carats, mounted in silver and 14k gold
Estimate: $3,000-$4,000Lot Details
An Edwardian Diamond, Pearl and Platinum Bracelet
The dainty supple strap with an openwork series of round and old European-cut diamond collets between borders of small pearls measuring approximately 3.0 mm, pearls not tested for natural origin, mounted in platinum, length 7 1/4 inches
Estimate: $5,000-$6,000Lot Details
Renaissance Revival Agate and Gold Memorial Bangle Bracelet
Centering a large domed circular banded agate within a frame of tiered ropetwist work and beaded scalloped crown motif details, hinged and opening to reveal a round compartment, with fluted cylindrical baton shoulders and clasp, accented by cat’s eye agate terminals, to a hinged oval bracelet, mounted in 18k gold
Estimate: $1,400-$1,800Lot Details
An Antique Pair of Amethyst, Diamond, Silver and Gold Earrings
Centering a a pair of cushion-shaped amethysts weighing approximately 32.00 carats, framed by old European and old mine-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.35 carats, mounted in silver and 14k gold, with Russian assay marks
Estimate: $1,800-$2,200Lot Details
An Antique Diamond, Platinum and Gold Ring
The elongated navette-shaped plaque pavé-set with old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.25 carats, mounted in platinum and 18K gold
Estimate: $2,200-$2,800Lot Details
An Antique Diamond, Silver and Gold Brooch/Pendant
Fashioned as a jardinière with an openwork lattice planter and bountiful flower blossoms and leaves, entirely decorated with old mine-cut diamonds weighing approximately 5.00 carats, mounted in silver and 14k gold
Estimate: $1,500-$2,000Lot Details
An Antique Pair of Diamond, Platinum and Gold Earrings
The bezel-set millegrained design with a pair of old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 5.35 carats, topped by small old European-cut diamonds, mounted in platinum and 14k yellow gold
Estimate: $10,000-$12,000Lot Details
An Antique Diamond, Ruby, Enamel and Gold Bangle Bracelet
The quintuple-hinged bangle designed as a coiling serpent decorated throughout with green enamel and accented by scale textured plaques, with fangs and bifurcated tongue, the head set with a pear-shaped old mine-cut diamond weighing approximately 1.15 carats, amid smaller old mine-cut diamonds, with cabochon ruby eyes, mounted in 18k gold, inner circumference 6 1/4 inches
Estimate: $9,000-$13,000Lot Details
An Antique Pearl, Diamond, Silver and Gold Ring
The large floret centering a pearl measuring 7.7 mm, surrounded by old mine and old European-cut diamonds weighing approximately 3.50 carats, mounted in silver and 18k gold, pearl not tested for natural origin
Estimate: $2,000-$3,000Lot Details
An Antique Peridot, Diamond, Pearl, Enamel, Silver and Gold Brooch
Centering an emerald-cut peridot weighing approximately 5.00 carats, amid meandering red enamel scrolls accented by old-cut diamonds, suspending a pearl (not tested for natural origin) and a pear-shaped ruby, mounted in silver and 18k gold
Estimate: $2,000-$3,000Lot Details
An Antique Pair of Emerald, Diamond, Silver and Gold Ear Pendants
Fashioned with a pair of large emerald drops weighing approximately 55.00 carats, from rose-cut diamond caps, suspending from tendril vines and leaves decorated by old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in silver and 14k gold, joined to later added 10k white gold tops
Estimate: $4,000-$6,000Lot Details
An Antique Diamond, Silver and Gold Brooch
The trefoil motif accented by buds, decorated with old European and rose-cut diamonds weighing approximately 2.00 carats, mounted in silver and 14k gold
Estimate: $1,800-$2,400Lot Details
An Antique Sapphire, Diamond and Gold Necklace
With a pear-shaped cabochon sapphire weighing approximately 27.00 carats, suspending from an oval cabochon sapphire weighing approximately 9.25 carats, to a pair of cushion-shaped sapphires weighing approximately 6.40 carats, further accented by old mine-cut diamonds, mounted in 18k gold, and joined to a 14k pink gold fancy linking chain, length 20 1/2 inches
Estimate: $20,000-$30,000Lot Details
A Belle Époque Diamond, Pearl, Platinum and Gold Brooch
The entrelac ribbon composed of rose-cut diamond curves, suspending a later added bouton pearl drop measuring 11.2 mm, mounted in platinum and 14k gold, pearl not tested for natural origin
Estimate: $ $2,000-$2,600Lot Details