Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Topaz Necklet, c. 1780

Necklet of White Topaz
Part of a Demi-Parure
Portugal, 1780-1800
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This necklace, made in Portugal between 1780 and 1800, features a symmetrical bow design from which five loops suspending an equally symmetrical bow and pendant hang.

The piece is typical of neo-classical Portuguese design. It is a portion of a “demi-parure” - a half set of jewels - which is comprised of a pair of long pendalogue earrings (long pear-shaped pendants hanging beneath bows).

The stones are white topaz which are set in silver to enhance their clarity. That this set remains as it is owes to the fact that the stones are topaz and not diamonds. Had they been diamonds, the set surely would have been ripped apart and reset several times over. 

No comments: