19th Century Silver Antique Ruby Necklace

19th century antique silver necklace set with natural rubies.

The Arts and Crafts movement ‘formally’ emerged in England around 1880 and quickly spread to America, Europe and Japan. The movement was seen in architecture, jewellery and decorative arts quite distinctly, as it gained traction after the Industrial Revolution (c1840 onwards). Craftsmen and jewellers began to explore other metals besides gold, both out of necessity and creativity.

This necklace is possibly a very early piece before the Arts and Crafts movement came along (second half of the 19th century). A combination of Georgian and Victorian techniques can be seen in its silver work – the rubies are set closed back (popular in the 18th and early 19th century), and the floral motifs are quite staunch and ‘stiff’ compared to later more freeform Art Nouveau work.

While less sophisticated in materials, it is this insistence in shape/structure that gives this silver necklace its craftsmanship and solidarity. The necklace is a composition of two basic forms – leaf and flower – alternating to form the whole necklace, with a small flower drop at the center. The centrepiece is not ornate but rather equal attention is given to the whole design.

The nondescript centrepiece is a fixed structure, while the rest are individual bezels linked together and fluid. The look is feminine/yin, but its construction is masculine/yang. It’s hard to describe but this balance is often achieved yet overlooked in Arts and Crafts era pieces.

The necklace has developed a nice two tone brightness which gives the silver its antiquity. This is distinct from silver tarnish.

The length comes to 15″ – 16″.

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19th century antique silver necklace set with natural rubies.

The Arts and Crafts movement 'formally' emerged in England around 1880 and quickly spread to America, Europe and Japan.

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