Fencing was not only a popular sport among the French aristocracy, but also an essential skill. This bejeweled sword is technically a fencing foil (circa 1900/1910).
As always, the workmanship and beauty of the piece can be seen in the details. The blade is solid 18 kt gold. The handle is a twisted rope of white enamel and platinum topped 18 kt gold set with sparkling old mine and European cut diamonds. The Bellguard is also platinum topped gold set with diamonds. At the top is a lustrous natural pearl (not lab tested). Originally, a stick pin it has been converted to a pendant.
What "It Girl" can resist incorporating a bit of rocker chic into her jewelry wardrobe: coral skull pendant with diamond eyes, lips studded with pave rubies, or a bejeweled sword to wear around her neck?
Dimensions & Details
- The pendant is just under 3 inches in length and 1/2 inch at the widest point.
- The diamonds are old mine cut and European cuts. They are too small to be graded in place, but appear lively and bright.
- The pearl is likely to be natural due to the age of the piece (prior to the practice of commercial pearl culturing).
- 18 Kt gold (tested).
- Platinum (tested).
- Most likely England or France.
Period & Hallmarks
- Circa 1900/1910 unmarked.
- The pendant is in good antique condition. There is some wear/chips to the enamel, which is primarily not eye visible (e.g. visible via magnification).
Jewelry and the Sporting Life
For the Aristocracy, country life often revolved around the sporting calendar. House parties were frequent occurrences during the hunting season. Sporting attire was designed to be fashionable first and then functional. With shorter skirts women could move better and also show of the latest, and most fashionable boots.
Sporting jewelry was just as important and carefully chosen. It too was a statement meant to reflect personal taste, passion and talents: a diamond arrow for archery, seed pearl horseshoe and riding crop brooch for the avid rider. Men also accessorized: a gold fox pin or perhaps a pair of cuff links featuring Essex Crystals painted with dogs or symbols from a deck of cards.
If you are interested in reading more about the jewelry terms or decorative periods referenced throughout our site, visit our Resources section for additional information.
Find out how to care for your collection of antique and modern jewels: visit our Jewelry Care page to get advice on maintaining and storing your treasured pieces.
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