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How old is this? Looks asian.

In Fine Jewelry > Necklaces > Show & Tell.
Necklaces265 of 488Lovely vintage gem necklace Liberty & Co. silver enameled Arts & Crafts necklace, England c. 1900
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (19 items)

    Can anyone give me some idea as to the age or origin of this unusual necklace? The chain seems to be woven silver (not tested). The beads are metal. The clasp is particularly interesting as it has one bead which screws to one side of the clasp, then another that has a fitting so as to hide the clasp. Some of the beads have a black enamel. The largest bead is just over 1".

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    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
    2. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      It is! Saw this at an auction and had to get it. BTW- I took the photos at night and it was a little dark, so the colors are way off. Mostly silverish and black,
    3. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      It looks Etruscan, especially the chain... You said it is more silver correct?
    4. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      This is a page about Etruscan Chains >
    5. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      Thanks for the link. Yes, but I was looking around a little and see that Etruscan is mainly gold jewelry. Hmm? It also is not enough like Etruscan revival from late 1800s. Now I'm thinking more Afghani or Indian tribal maybe, but no idea how old it may be still?
    6. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      Website >
      The Etruscans took great pleasure in wearing ostentatious gold jewellery. Etruscan metalworkers produced many fine items not only in gold, but also in bronze and silver. The gold jewellery was often ornamented with filigree (fine wire) and granulation (tiny gold granules) formed into patterns. This latter technique has been mimicked in recent times but modern goldsmiths have never achieved the powder-fine granules of the Etruscan metalworkers.
    7. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      You could be right about the eastern influence no doubt. Indian, Iranian, Asian...I have tons of Jewelry books, will take a look for you...
    8. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      I do like a lot of the Etruscan pieces that I've seen. Yeah, the granulation is nice, too bad it's still a lost art since no one knows how they did it back in the 2nd century. Hey wildvke, thanks for looking. I only have a few books right now.
    9. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      Not sure why this was moved to the fine jewelry category? What was wrong with the vintage category? Just a rhetorical comment. Would love to figure this one out anyway!
    10. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      I took a closer look at the construction on this and every bit of detail on the necklace and every bead is entirely hand made of many small pieces. The granulation, the twisted wire borders (visible inside the beads as well) , the design on the main bead is about 20 or so shaped metal pieces assembled into the design on each side. Someone suggested it might be Etruscan. I didn't think so because most of their work is gold, but looking at the construction of this, maybe so? Each of the granules is individually attached. Hmm??? Loving this necklace more every day.
    11. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      I tested this and it is sterling silver. I could not find a maker's mark anywhere on it. Can anybody tell me anything about this piece? Anyone here from Christi's of Heritage? As I mentioned above, every bit of detail is hand crafted. There must be nearly 800 individual parts to this necklace, not counting the granulation or weave!

      I am thinking that the thing that could date this is the black enamel. Did enameling exist in 2nd century BC?
    12. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      A concise history of enamel from the Vitreous Enamels Society >
    13. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      The earliest known enameled objects were made in Cyprus in around the 13th century BC during the Mycenæan period. Six gold rings discovered in a Mycenæan tomb at Kouklia were decorated with various vitreous coloured layers fused on to the gold.
    14. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      Thanks for the history, wildvke. My best guess so far is late middle ages to early 19th century, India, Tibet region. I sent an email to Heritage, see if I can get an expert opinion.
    15. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      Did you ever hear anything back about the necklace yet? I think its much older than anything vintage.
    16. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      First, thanks for the love everyone.

      I did hear back from Heritage, and I'll quote them - "I am not familiar with this necklace."

      Very helpful.
      Yes, I tend to agree with you wildvke. Hand woven chain, and every detail handmade and individually soldered together. That's a good month of work for a silversmith at least! I would love to get it restored. Of course, I'd also love to be able to put a date and region on it as well.
    17. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      LOL about Heritage....figures. Don't worry, I have it ingrained in my mind now..I will keep a look out for it for sure. As I said before, I have about 25 or 30 jewelry books...
    18. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      Thanks. I guess I'll just have to clean it up a bit and wait. I appreciate your help. Maybe my next stop will have to be Antiques Road Show if that's the only way to find an expert familiar with similar works or with a huge library.

      Still I would say it's a good find since I paid $25 for it and 15 other items. So my cost is about $1.33
    19. wildvke wildvke, 7 years ago
      Not a necklace but look at the design on the bead...
    20. pritistar, 7 years ago

      Most likely the necklace is from Sri Lanka..and is highly collectible.
    21. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      Thanks. I've heard Sri Lanka once before. Do you know of any others like it? I recently realized that the enamel is very similar to Niello enamel, except that no well was carved for it, it is just on the surface. The enamel doesn't really help me put a date on it though since the Egyptians were the first to use the Niello type enamel
    22. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      Thanks for the comments everyone. I think the mystery is solved, I found a very similarly styled Sri Lankan necklace, but without the clasp or enamel here:

      Best guess for my necklace (based on other pieces as well) is 19th century
    23. gardinerth, 7 years ago
      I've changed 2 images

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