Over two centuries old, this 14k gold Georgian fancy link chain is one of the most unique pieces of jewelry we’ve encountered. The five intaglios date to 1779, while the fancy link chain they hang from is circa 1800. The bracelet has multiple layers of history to it, and each element was made with astonishing craftsmanship.
The gold chain itself is an incredible piece of artistry. The complexity is intense—this is a masterwork of Georgian elements and a true geometric wonder. It is multi-component, alternating between several different intricate links. An elongated cage-like link is hollow and squared-off, vaguely reminiscent of a butterfly in its symmetry. It alternates with a squashed, pumpkin-like globe that is bisected by a dotted oval link. The completely handmade reticulation was created by hand-sawing out each detail. In between them is a fettered link, consisting of overlapping circles tied around a middle section that is adorned with stars. The tiny stars on the central link are indicative of the Georgian era, dating the chain to the early 1800’s.
Five intaglios hang from the chain, in the Georgian era equivalent of a charm bracelet. The black intaglios are made from basalt—a vitreous material that tightens as it hardens and is perfect for capturing carved detail. In places, the black basalt has a subtle shimmer that enhances its beauty. The center intaglio contains the profile of a man, and is marked on the back as Wedgwood and “38-2”. The other two basalt intaglios are double sided and Wedgwood. One features Seneca on one side and Isaac Newton on the other, with a shooting star like symbol near his head. Perhaps these basalt Wedgwood medallions were carved by the legendary artisan James Tassie himself! The carnelian intaglios are a beautiful burnt orange color. Translucent, they glow when held up to the light. One features a woman in a flowing gown, resting her elbows on a pedestal—a Classical Revival reference. The other features a crest adorned with crosses, scrolling foliate, leaves, and a lion. The intaglios are bezel set in 14k gold and hang from oval bails.
The bracelet fits a 6 1/2” - 6 3/4” wrist. The medallions are each slightly different in size and range from 3/4” x 7/8” to 1/2” x 3/4”. The bracelet weighs 26.78 grams. The spring ring clasp is a contemporary replacement
For someone who loves history, this is an exceptionally special piece, with many layers and so much to offer.