Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mastery of Design: The William Pick Necklace, 1913

Necklace of gold and opals
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This exquisite Arts and Crafts necklace was made by William Pick of the Dryad Metal Works in Leicester, England, in early 1913.

The necklace was commissioned by Basil Gimson (nephew of the Arts and Crafts architect and furniture designer Ernest Gimson) for his bride, Alice Muriel Goodman, who wore it on their wedding day, April 8, 1913.

Basil's mother wrote to her son about the necklace:

"This morning Sydney and I were at the Dryad talking to Mr Peach. He spoke of the gold necklace Mr Pick is making for Muriel. He said they had picked out some first rate opals for it. From his description it sounded like a very costly affair, so I said: 'Oh, but there is a limit of price. '  'Yes, I know, but I have told Pick we are going to do this thing just tip top, the very best possible. It shall defy competition! Gimsons have been the very best customers we have ever had, and we are going to turn out something worth having!'"

The piece is comprised of gold openwork with an elaborate central pendant of foliage design.  The pendant has been set with four opals and hung with a long pearl drop. 

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