Posted 7 years ago
A glorious Georgian 18K gold necklace with dimensional, high repoussé flowers and stars. The foiled pink topaz stones are in closed-back, colleted settings. This necklace is in its original fitted leather case is circa 1820s; unfortunately, the matching earrings are missing. ;-(
As always, a great source about this type of jewelry is Ginny Dawes book "Georgian Jewellery, 1714-1830":
Parures pg 79):
18th century jewelry, used for formal events, was often made in (boxed) parures, ranging from small sets as few as two pieces up to an extensive parure with as many as sixteen matching pieces(!). The largest of the sets might contain a necklace, earrings, hair ornaments, dress ornaments (such as bows), a set of buttons, a waist buckle, a pair of bracelets, a pendant and some brooches. All of the pieces in a parure would be made of matching stones, diamonds or pearls, often designed to match a particular formal dress.
Foils (pg 80):
Foiling was a method of enhancing gemstones, brightening and intensifying the colors. The reflective material was a rigid piece of copper tinted to the desired color (or silvered for diamonds). Over time the foils tended to fade, but "death" came if water penetrated the setting.
Pink Topaz (pg 111):
In 1735 the mines of Minas Gerais in Brazil yielded a seam of imperial topaz with a slight pink hue and the craze for pink topaz was on! A Parisian jeweler named Dumelle discovered that golden topaz became a glorious pink when heated (the trace element chromium is what created the pink color upon heating). Unfortunately, not all imperial topaz (which was quite expensive) contains chromium -- without this mineral, the heated topaz becomes colorless and can easily fracture. The vogue for pink topaz was short-lived.