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19th C 56 In Berlin Iron Gunmetal Sautoir 52 Purple Collet Set Stones

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Directory: Estate Jewelry: Costume: Unsigned: Pre 1910: Item # 1318845
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Baltimore, MD 21212

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Fabulous stunning antique 19th century gunmetal/Berlin iron long collet set crystal sautoir necklace with purple pointed stones. Mid to late 19th century, probably French. These necklaces were also originally used as muff chains, hanging the fur muff around the wearer's neck, where it would fall at about waist length. The watch style clasp could also be used to hang items such as a lorgnette or a lady's watch. This piece is long enough to wear three times around the neck or wear as a longer sautoir. It has 52 purple glass stones in bezel or collet settings. The stones and bezels are 4.5 millimeters in diameter.

So-called Berlin iron jewelry originated in the late 18th century in Germany. It was made from iron or base metal and lacquered dark gunmetal/black to prevent rusting. By the early 1800's it was also being manufactured in France and England and primarily used as mourning jewelry. During the Prussian uprising against Napoleon in 1813 through 1815, citizens were urged to support the war by exchanging their fine jewelry for iron jewelry, and Berlin iron jewelry became a symbol of patriotism. Its popularity in Europe continued throughout the 19th century.

52 inches long and 4.5mm wide. Excellent condition with a few very small spots of rust, not noticeable at a short distance. A few of the spans of chain between the stones are slightly different lengths. This could be adjusted by a jeweler but it is really not at all noticeable. Some of the stones have miniscule flea bites from wear, again not noticeable. Display form is life size. Photos enlarged to show detail.