Lot 78
  • 78

Diamond and gem-set acrostic bracelet, 1860s

Estimate
5,000 - 8,000 GBP
Sold
6,250 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • gold, diamond, ruby, beryl, agate, emerald, hessonite garnet, opal, sapphire
Designed as a line of eight clusters centred on cushion-shaped or cabochon stones, including ruby, beryl, an agate carved with a flower, emerald, hessonite garnet, brown chalcedony, opal and sapphire, spaced with open work links, to a clasp bearing the initials 'JB', set throughout with cushion-shaped and rose diamonds, French import marks, length approximately 173mm, one diamond deficient.

Catalogue Note

The very particular combination and ordering of the stones in this bracelet place it within the tradition of 'acrostic' jewellery. Initially popularised during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, acrostic jewellery uses the initials of each stone to form a hidden message, such as 'DEAREST' or 'REGARD'. This piece, with its combination of ruby, goshenite (colourless beryl, known as Iris quartz), banded agate (Niccolo), emerald, hessonite garnet (Vermeille), brown quartz (Uraine), opal and sapphire, spells out 'SOUVENIR', meaning 'remembrance' in French. The inclusion of the 'forget-me-not' flower carved into the onyx adds another symbolic dimension to this message, and the initials 'JB' included on the clasp are likely those of the person commemorated by the wearer of this jewel.

Cf.: Sentimental Jewellery, Shirley Bury, London, 1985, page 28, for a discussion of acrostic jewellery.
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