Necklace and Earrings, about 1840-1875


While amethyst is not considered a particularly rare or desirable stone today (it is a quartz and rather soft) it was much prized in the nineteenth century.Until the late nineteenth century, when Brazilian deposits of amethyst were found, amethysts were considered important stones in expensive jewelry.This is an interesting half set, as the necklace has the style and delicacy of the 1840s, but the earrings resemble those popular in the 1870s.Research has revealed that the business stamped on the case, "Geo. Edwards & Sons / 19 Poultry St. / London / & / 92 Buchanan St. / Glasgow",was only located at this address from 1874-1880.This suggests that the earrings may have been made later to match the necklace and the two were rehoused in a new case, explaining the later date of the jeweler.Nevertheless, this is the finest half set owned by the institution and it is the only one in a case this pristine.

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