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Set of Three Arts & Crafts Emerald, Sapphire & Ruby Dress Clips, probably by the Gaskins

In Fine Jewelry > Arts and Crafts Jewelry > Show & Tell and Fine Jewelry > Show & Tell.
Arts and Crafts Jewelry240 of 309Arts & Crafts enamel necklace with birdBritish Arts & Crafts silver ring with fruit motif and green stone c. 1900
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (117 items)

    This is a set of three tutti-frutti Arts & Crafts dress clips decorated with red peacocks in flowering trees. The two outer clips are a true pair, while the middle clip is slightly larger. The stones are all genuine rubies, emeralds and sapphires with great color, there are no synthetics.

    The metal is sterling silver and there is a big surprise when you look at the backs. They are highly detailed, pierced, chased, and engraved with matching pictures of the birds on the front.

    The workmanship is amazing. The setting of the stones, and the detail on the backs, are done in the traditional Georgian way, while the peacock design and tutti-frutti colour scheme shows the influence of India. The engraved backs are very similar to the silver bird brooches made by Bernard Cuzner, however these clips don't look like anything else of his that I've ever seen.

    There can be very little doubt that these clips are British Arts & Crafts, certainly designed by a highly skilled artist and jeweller. To produce this set by hand, using traditional techniques, was time consuming work, and with the cost of the stones, the finished set must have been very expensive.

    So who is the artist? I believe these are the creation of Arthur and Georgina Gaskin, based on the letter "G" in the eye of bird on the central clip (note the outer clips just have a dot for the eyeball).

    They were possibly produced at the Vittoria Street School of Jewellery and Silversmithing, where Arthur Gaskin was headmaster, influencing his student Bernard Cuzner, who went on to become Head of the Metalwork Department at the nearby Birmingham School of Art.

    From 1913 the craftsman jeweller Bernard Instone was also based at Vittoria Street, making pieces for the Gaskins, Bernard Cuzner, and other teachers at the school, and it's possible that it was his hand that made these clips, designed by Arthur and Georgina Gaskin, circa 1913-14.

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    1. kiwipaul kiwipaul, 7 years ago
      By the way, the jewellery case and the bead necklace are not original to the clips.

      I made the case from an old cutlery box and whipped up the emerald, sapphire and ruby bead necklace to add some versatility to the way the clips can be worn.
    2. kyratango kyratango, 7 years ago
      Beautiful work, but I don't feel them being Arts and Crafts, nor english..., they have a more exotic work look for me.
      Impatient to have other jewellery folks sentiments :-)

    3. racer4four racer4four, 7 years ago
      Wow. Again. Wow.
    4. Peasejean55 Peasejean55, 7 years ago
      I agree with racer.
    5. Jewels1900 Jewels1900, 7 years ago
      Hi Paul. I'm not really sure about these. At first glance I would have thought they were later than the Gaskins.

      Do you have the Gaskin catalogue? If not, I'll get it out when I have a moment and see if there's any thing that might point to these.
    6. Zowie Zowie, 7 years ago
      This is great & the peacock took a second to spot. Nice pieces
    7. inky inky, 7 years ago
      Just beautiful!!.....:-)
    8. Zowie Zowie, 7 years ago
      I just followed Email back to this site & fell in love again so stunning
    9. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 7 years ago
      Beautiful necklace, the backside is so nice as well that you could wear it inside out.

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