Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Podolsky Necklace, 1947

Gold, Rubies and Diamonds
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This exceptional necklace is constructed of an intricate series of flexible, ribbed tubes of gold. This technique—known as “snakes” or “gas-pipes”--rose in prominence in the 1930s and remained very fashionable for necklaces and bracelets throughout the 1940s.

Two hollow, flexible “snake” chains--one of white gold and the other of yellow gold—are joined into a clip fastening at one end and ending in two gold drops surmounted by two collars, one of sapphires and the other of rubies at the other end.

An open scrolling band at the front encases the chains. This band is set with brilliant-cut diamonds bordered by a thin band of table-cut rubies on one side and of sapphires on the other. This section is removable and can be worn separately as a clip.

The necklace was made in London between 1947 and 1948 by Eyna Wolko Podolsky (1888-1962). Paul Podolsky, the son of the maker, stated that in 1947, 18ct gold was possible only for export and that this necklace was made for their client Abdul Maleek in Alexandria, Egypt.

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