Antique Victorian dangle drop Earrings and Pendant-necklace Parure Set. 15ct gold, emeralds, rubies, diamonds and pearls. Made in England. Circa 1850-60.
Measurements: Pendant is 1 1/8 inch (3cm) wide. Earrings are 1 inch (2.5cm) long, excluding wires. Combined weight is 11.8 grams.
Description : Set composed of pendant on a gold chain and dangle drop earrings. Versatile, top drop, transformable jewelry. Snake theme. Each item in the form of a snake, winding around itself. Bodies of snakes are gold with engraved, naturalistic detail. The pendant with snake's body forming 3 overlapping loops around the head and enclosing openwork, botanical elements set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Snake head set with emerald. A long, curved hook at the back holds an enhancer/pendant drop in the form of a large bud surrounded by a pair of leaves, all set with diamonds. The upper sides of the pendant with loops attached to a gold chain with simple ring clasp. We do not know whether the chain is original to the pendant or a little later.
Earrings also in the form of snakes with the head dropping from within it's curling body. It encloses the same botanically themed openwork and gem-set details. Looped around the backs are removable drops in the form of elongated crosses or flowers, also set with diamonds, emeralds and rubies as well as small pearls. Wires insert through the ear lobe from the back to the front, which is how earrings were worn until the end of the 19th century.
Top drop or day night earrings and removable enhancer are typical of transformable jewelry of the period that could be used in various forms. The way the parts of the pendant are constructed hints that there might have once been more than one use to this part of the set (for example it might have attached to a tiara or bracelet), but no other parts remain today. The enhancer with the diamond pendant is clearly removable - the loop simple slips over the long hook at the back of the pendant.
Earrings were known as 'top drop' or 'day night' since the tops could be worn alone by day for a simpler look and then with the drops for more elegance and drama at night. The drops have loops that fit over the wires of the earrings for a very easy transformation.
Snake jewelry was very popular since the dawn of time, with snakes symbolising a number of benefits such as eternity and good luck.
This set is exquisitely made with workmanship of the highest standard. Small, but vibrant, bright gems. It is stunnning in looks and bright appearance and of course, the versatility makes it especially wearable for all times and for all occasions.
Marks: As is to be expected of early English jewelry, there are no hallmarks on the pendant or earrings. The gold was acid tested to ensure metal purity. The chain has an unknown mark near the clasp.
Condition: Good with negligible wear commensurate with age and use. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.