Is It, Or Isn’t It? Heart Pendant – First Impressions

June 25, 2010

One of the joys and perils of knowing a little bit about old jewellery is that people want to know what they have. Though Antiques Roadshow makes it look very easy to spot a piece and be able to wax lyrical about it for hours on end, the truth of the matter is that a lot of research goes into a single viewing. Personally, I like to be certain about a piece and I can often be wrong, so in the interest of opening the door for all us amateur historians, let’s take a quick look at this pendant and try to reach some conclusions.

Stylistically, it lends itself to the first half 18th century, the lack of facets and the curve to the crystal is more common with that era, as opposed to the sharper edges of the earlier times. Then there is the conflict of the cipher inside, which is more common with earlier pieces, but for the period of 1680-1740, that was quite common, so it’s not really a conflict at all.

You’ve got the fleur-de-lis forming together the crown, which is rather nice, though they are a little ill-defined for a piece of high quality, though that could simply be the pictures.

Also, the wire-work to the surrounding gold is rather simply done in that it is uneven and forms heavier at the bottom in the dollop of gold.

With the arrow and quiver, you’ve got the motifs for mortality, so that combined with the initials up front makes it quite likely a mourning piece. The crown may denote either a literal or figurative connection with royalty (to be considered royalty or actual aristocracy) and all in all, I rather like it.

It’s obviously had a bit of a life as well, I think the imperfections make it special, but as far as a ‘Georgian Heart’ goes, I think it fits the category well.

But, is any of that correct? This piece was submitted by Rob Jackson and this is the first time I’ve seen it. I’ve made some rather grand statements and I’d prefer to back a lot of it up with proper evidence. What are your thoughts?

3 Responses to “Is It, Or Isn’t It? Heart Pendant – First Impressions”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Without being able to see the back of it and examine it under a loupe, just from the enlarged photo it looks like the gold work was cast. Casting certainly was done in the time period you’re referring to, but this type of a piece, with its ornate detailing (especially the surrounding twisted wire embellishment), would have been done by hand. Same actually goes for jewelry made today; if someone were making a high-quality piece, say out of high-karat gold, it would be done by hand; casting it (in order to make multiples) makes it less special, and renders the detailing less sharp.

    Ok, there’s my 2 cents!


  2. Excellent, Sarah, superb analysis!


  3. […] How about spotting some analysis for all you curious types? > Is It, Or Isn’t It? Heart Pendant – First Impressions […]


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