Posted 6 years ago
I love this ugly necklace! There's a story behind how I got it & ID'd it as an 800 silver necklace attributed to one of the famous Italian silversmiths - and what it was used for - since it doesn't look like any vinaigrette I've ever seen!
An on-line selling buddy told me she had a necklace with really scary faces. She thought it was really really creepy, so she listed it at some ridiculous price - I think it was $5. Didn't take me long to buy it; sometimes I'll buy something intriguing just because I don't know what it is - simply for the pleasure of figuring it out!
So I get this thing in the mail. Yeah, those 3 Gothic faces are strange, but they grow on you... When I get a new piece of metal jewelry, I give it a light wash with soap & water. After I towel it dry, I douse it with isopropyl alcohol to get off all the remaining water.
The strangest thing happened. I started to smell a very pleasant herbal/floral scent. It was coming from the necklace! What on earth??? Apparently, oils from the perfumes used had remained on the metal. I tried to open it,thinking that would be the obvious way to put in a cotton pad to hold perfume. It doesn't open.
I sent out a "help" message to my comrades on The Vintage Village. We figured they must have stuffed it through the holes, which are very generous. One lady did research & found similar pieces attributed to Puruzzi (I know I didn't spell that right!), a famous Italian silversmith. Most of the work at that time (~1850-1870) was done in 800 silver, unless it was for a high ranking person. It definitely isn't sterling. Again, I haven't tested it, but I'm fairly confident my friends are right.
So, here I have a creepy Neo-Gothic necklace to add to my Victorian jewelry collection. All for $5 plus a couple dollars shipping. Cool, huh?