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Even more than functional, this 18K yellow gold pencil is a stunning example of Victorian haute joaillerie as it's also wearable as a pendant.
At the extendable part of the pencil, no less than 166 rose cut diamonds are scattered over a silver pattern of lozenges cornered by quatrefoils. From there, a diamond trefoil gleams as an aura above a high-domed cabochon cut moonstone. Furthermore, an intricate repetition of sunset-coloured enamelled engravings -called guilloché- lead up to a row of another 22 diamonds, which announces the appearing pencil shaft.
As well as being an historical artefact itself, we can only imagine what history this antique pencil from 1880 has written or drawn down throughout its lifetime.
Antique jewelry object group: pencil as pendant
Condition: good condition (slight wear on enamel which is hard to see)
- (more info on our condition scale)
Country of origin: unknown
Style: Victorian - Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and Interior decoration. Victorian design is widely viewed as having indulged in a regrettable excess of ornament. The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era.
- See also: Victorian or more info on styles
Style specifics: The Grand Victorian Period - Experts divide the reign of Queen Victoria, also called The Victorian era (1837 - 1901) into three periods of about twenty years each; The Romantic Victorian Period (1837 - 1860), The Grand Victorian Period (1860 - 1880), and the Late or Aesthetic Victorian Period (1880 - 1901).
We consider this to be of the Grand Victorian Period.
This second Victorian period is famous for its ostentatious pieces set with pearls and diamonds (from South Africa). From ca. 1850 wealthy English had reported about jewelry from India and Japan, which heavily inspired the jewelers of this period. This period also corresponds with the death of Queen Victoria's husband King Albert making mourning jewelry (set with heavy dark stones) the type of jewelry specific for this period.
Period: ca. 1880
- (events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era)
Material: 18k yellow gold and silver, see also: The silver on gold technique
- (more info on precious metals)
Technique: Guilloché and enameling
Enameled Guilloché - Guilloché (or guilloche) is a decorative technique in which a very precise, intricate and repetitive pattern is mechanically engraved into an underlying material via engine turning, which uses a machine of the same name, also called a rose engine lathe. This mechanical technique improved on more time-consuming designs achieved by hand and allowed for greater delicacy, precision, and closeness of line, as well as greater speed. Once this technique was proceded on the surface, translucent enamel was applied over it. (from: Wikipedia)
Enamelling - Enamelling is an old and widely-adopted technology. The ancient Egyptians applied enamels to pottery and stone objects. The ancient Greeks, Celts, Russians, and Chinese also used enameling processes on metal objects. Enamel is the colorful result of fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. The powder melts and flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, glass or ceramic. According to some sources, the word enamel comes from the High German word smelzan (to smelt) via the Old French esmail. Used as a noun, "an enamel" is a usually small decorative object, coated with enamel coating, such as a champlevé or a cloisonné (different techniques).
Diamond(s): 188 rose cut diamonds. We do not have the weight of the diamonds which is normal in our trade when it comes to rose cuts.
Precious stones: One cabochon moonstone
Birthstones: Diamond is the birthstone (or month stone) for April and moonstone for July.
- (more info on birthstones)
Hallmarks: No trace.
- (more info on hallmarks)
Dimensions: expanded length 11,17 cm (4,40 inch), shortest length 6,88 cm (2,71 inch)
Weight: 17,50 gram (11,25 dwt)
Reference Nº: 17042-0056
Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry
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