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mystery sterling mid century? modernist necklace

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Sterling Silver Jewelry505 of 1002Silver & jade necklace in the Arts and Crafts style?Biba Sterling Silver Necklace With Four .925 Crystal Pendant Charms, Flea Market Find $1.00
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (2 items)

    I bought this gorgeous necklace second-hand from someone who didn't know its history. It looks mid-century modernist to me, but it's not signed and I'm no expert. It's forged sterling with a crazy-lace agate drop pendant (no signature) and high quality metalwork on the four side pendants. (There were never stones on the outer pendants; the "craters" are metalwork.) It's tarnished and filthy (the craters are half full of grime), but beautiful even now.

    Alas, when it showed up, the clasp section (and any signature) was missing. It's been replaced with an ordinary piece of (silver?) wire bent into a hook and eye at either end. This is awful! It's hard to fasten, insecure, and twists the links so the necklace can't hang properly. I feel like Cinderella outfitted in a stunning ball gown and Crocs. And, of course, if there was ever a signature, it's gone.

    So three questions:
    1. Why in the world would anyone do such a thing?
    2. Can anyone identify this gorgeous piece?
    3. Is there any way to source a more appropriate clasp? I could insist (boy, could I) that the seller take it back, since it isn't wearable, but it's so beautiful that I'd rather try to fix it.

    Thank you! All advice appreciated.


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    1. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 5 years ago
      What a necklace! Looks Scandinavian Modernist to me. Did the seller mention any damage or was it sold "As Is"? A jeweler could probably fix you up with an appropriate clasp.
    2. herennow, 5 years ago
      I thought it looked Scandinavian, but I couldn't turn up anything similar online -- though of course I'm certain I've seen similar pieces online in the past. :)
    3. valentino97 valentino97, 5 years ago
      Susan you can take that silver bar off and replace w/an old sterling chain which will drape better and also feel better to wear. I have a 1962 book "Handwrought Jewelry" by Lois E. Franke (Los Angeles) that shows this shaped and forged link style w/chain in back. As for this exact maker? I don't know - but love it!
    4. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 5 years ago
      I also didn't find anything resembling this necklace. I'm surprised that there isn't a mark on the backside somewhere.
    5. herennow, 5 years ago
      I'm guessing the signature was on the missing clasp. Why would anyone remove it?? I can't understand that. Very strange.
    6. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      I would call those 'craters' bubbles. That's what they look like to me! It's a stunner. Looks like something from an arts & crafts street fair to me.
    7. davyd286, 5 years ago
      I've seen the similar "bubble" design on some Kalevala Koru items (Finland, around 1960-70) but an American studio artist is also a possibility. Too bad there is no photo of the back. The design is rather distinct and hopefully, with some research, you'll be able to identify the maker, good luck.

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