Mid Victorian Coral Bow Necklace

Regular price $925.00

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The Grand Tour was an essential undertaking for any English man of means beginning in the 1700s, but it wasn't until the early 1800s with the invention of steam-powered transportation that it became a pursuit open to anyone, including women. The tour typically began in Dover, England and though there was no specified order of countries to visit, most travelers went to France, Germany, and Switzerland before the culmination of the trip in Italy. Throughout the tour one was supposed to acquire knowledge of language, politics, sport and art and become a generally more well-rounded person of privilege. And on the way, they shopped for souvenirs, often in jewelry form. Coral has been popular in jewelry in the Italian region since the Roman era (the ancient Romans believed wearing it could cure sterility!). Italian jewelry-carvers used this medium to create cameos and miniatures like this unusually lovely bow pendant. These clues tell us that most likely, this piece was a souvenir purchased on someone's Italian leg of the Grand Tour in the mid-1800s.

MATERIALS: 14k gold (tests), silver, coral, new 14k gold chain

AGE: c. 1860

CONDITION: Very good - looks like it was re-epoxied at some point

SIZE: 1/2" length including the bale, 7/8" width, 18" chain