- Length: 19 inches
- Precious Metal Weight: Approx. 3.40 dwt
- Precious Metal Material: 14k white gold (except ribbed bead which does not test as gold)
- Dimensions: 19” actual necklace length from end to end when unclasped, including the spring ring and bolt ring; 2.40” drop from the top loop on the ribbed bead down to the base of the longer opal globe pendant; 1.925” drop from the top loop on the ribbed bead down to the base of the shorter opal globe pendant; links measure about 1.25 mm each.
- Weight: 5.31 grams
- Markings: Spring ring is marked as “14K”; the necklace has been tested to confirm that the rolo chain necklace, the findings and the engraved floral orb caps are all 14k white gold (patinaed with age), though the ribbed bead does not test as gold. On the shop’s electronic tester, this single ribbed bead has fluctuating results between a plated gold and platinum. Because we cannot confirm which of these results is correct, the pricing does NOT reflect the possible inclusion of platinum, which commands a higher value.
- Epoch: Estimated to be anywhere from the late Edwardian era to the end of the height of the Art Deco movement, indicating a date range from between 1915-1930. Without knowing an exact provenance, we cannot ascertain a more precise date beyond what our years of collecting, dealing, learning and refining our expertise enables us to determine.
- Notes: This necklace is very rare, as most “snow globe” or “floating opal” style opal necklaces showcase a single opal pendant, while this piece features two in the négligée composition. The négligée necklace type rose to popularity during the Edwardian years as ladies’ necklines dropped and fashions reflected more liberal views on womanhood and selfhood. This trend continued well into the 1920s and 1930s, as ladies’ fashions evolved to be even freer and more whimsical, standardized by the Flapper lifestyle. Jewelry, therefore, began to mirror the sexually freer perspectives of the times, and grew more and more stimulating in design. In terms of the gemstones present, please note that opals are notoriously difficult to photograph, are always in flux as something of chameleons in changing light and atmospheric conditions. That being said, the photographs presented offer a glimpse of these opals in varying lights. Remember that their primary body color is a bright, crisp white and that the colors you see are brought about by changing lighting contexts and exposures.
- Center Stone Type: Natural antique opal chips
- Center Stone Dimensions: By estimate ~10 mm and smaller
- Center Stone Shape: Varies because they are chips
- Center Stone Color: Crisp white body color with rainbow amorphous silica
Elegant and ethereal, this négligée necklace is a sensuous variant of a classic necklace style of the Edwardian and Deco periods. Négligée necklaces are identifiable by their dual pendants, in which one hangs ever so slightly lower than the other in rather flirtatious fashion. This piece features just that: dangling from dropped chains are a matching pair of glass globes which both house lustrous opal chips within.
Both orbs are topped by elongated floral end caps, fabricated in solid 14k white gold and boasting organically-inspired engravings, including acanthus leaves and cyma swirls. This sultry duo meet at a central ribbed bead, which dangles enticingly from a 19-inch rolo chain necklace. The chain is also 14k white gold and delightfully delicate, each link measuring approximately 1.25 millimeters. The silvery-white chroma of the white gold complements the icy colors of the opal chips displayed, and exhibits a time-earned patina that beautifully emphasizes both the links and the engraved caps.
Opals’ iridescent quality is known as opalescence or adularescence, described by the flecks of color present against and within the primary background color, as well as the flecks that shimmer between layers of amorphous silica. The opals that headline this jewel are encapsulated in glass, creating an ultra polished look. These opals show a brilliant, crisp white body color, its inner layers bursting forth in holographic rainbows. In bright daylight, the opals’ colors shine in varying oranges, greens, blues, purples, pinks and yellows. And as the light dims and lowers, the colors grow richer and appear more prevalent. Keep in mind that because of their composition, opals change colors and fluctuate in color intensity from light to light. While primarily white in background, the opals dazzle with oscillating hues and tones depending on the context.
As is true with all antique fine jewelry, symbolism animates the beauty of the piece even more: acanthus leaves and cymas have long been used in tandem within spiritual depictions. Acanthus leaves embody the idea of eternalism, as the plant thrives in graceful immortality in even the harshest conditions and withstanding beating winds, rains and sun, rendering it deeply symbolic within stone and metalwork for thousands of years, as they allude to enduring life, rebirth and healing. For thousands of years and across continents and cultures, this motif has, therefore, been associated with both death and romance, as both are deeply sensitizing experiences that last a lifetime and eternally affect the heart. In a similar essence, the engraving here is billowing and undulating, recalling the ebbs and flows of heartfelt affections.
Furthermore, opals themselves convey hidden messages: opals are thought to represent emotional soothing, a boost in creativity and increase of joy. The precious and fragile gemstone is believed to bring about passion and connection, while also balancing emotion and spurring level headedness. Opals conjure fidelity amongst friends and spiritual instincts within. Much more than mere beauty, this necklace, thus, is imbued with meaning as vivid and storied as its gemstones’ colors and its historic origins.
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