Costume Jewellery - Shaped gemstone pendants?

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just an archer
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Costume Jewellery - Shaped gemstone pendants?

Postby just an archer » Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:06 pm

I'm just wondering if anyone knows of any references to shaped gemstone pendants other than the typical hammers, cabochon-set silver/gold etc.

I've been looking around for a while, nothing in my books that I've spotted.

Thanks in advance!



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Mad Monk of Mitcham
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Postby Mad Monk of Mitcham » Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:01 pm

What period are you referring to?

By the mention of hammers, I suspect early (Pre-christian) Viking.

For this period, jewellery was a sign of wealth, and its value was the weight of metal, but even then, there were ways of cheating - a lot of gilded copper alloy pieces.

Gemstones were much more valuable, and even gold pieces were often set with glass. Even into the medieval and Tudor period, fake stones were common - the Crown of Anne of Bohemia (one of two English corwns surviving) has about half of its "Diamonds" actually being enammeled fakes. Archeological survivals show that guild rules against setting fake stones into gold were regularly flouted.

The sort of stones you need to use are the less bright ones, like jaspers (most of the jaspers sold today are too bright) and some agates, jet and amber, as well as rock crystal (often backed to look different) and glass.

Even the glass stones you get today are not suitable, since most are mirror-flat backed.

As for what designs? - almost everything was made in several different materials - I've seen rings and brooches with similar designs in pewter, copper alloy, silver and gold.



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just an archer
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Postby just an archer » Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:29 pm

Hi Mad Monk, thanks for your reply!

Period is pretty much from early Saxon through to later Norman, so a fair band.

I'm actually curious about carved shapes that use minimal (if any) metalwork in them at all - pretty much, an extension of a drilled bead to other shapes, arrowheads, animals etc.

If it's any use in explaining one of the points I'm asking... I've got some quite nice carved gemstone arrowhead shapes, drilled at the top (blunt end). While some of the stones aren't suitable, some are, and I'm curious not only to find out if the shape is acceptable (long triangular) but if there are any examples in other shapes, or even just if there are any examples at all!


Running wild among all the stars above.

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Mad Monk of Mitcham
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Postby Mad Monk of Mitcham » Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:35 pm

If the stones you have are the ones I think they are, the design is very modern. Many Roman stones would have still been re-used at this period.

The thing to remember, is that the stones would be much more valuable than the metal, which is why glass was so often used. They would be a relatively high status item. They should be strung with a selection of various rough shaped stones and glass beads, as well as metal (gold and silver) beads.



danielo
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Re: Costume Jewellery - Shaped gemstone pendants?

Postby danielo » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:37 pm

Did you manage to get some in the end as I'm after the same thing?




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