Georgian 18K Gold Muff Chain with Embellished Hand Clasp
This is an 18 karat yellow gold hand-made link chain from the Georgian Era. It features a beautifully modeled 14 karat gold hand clasp with a decorated engraved sleeve, an emerald bracelet and a tiny diamond ring on the hand. The muff chain necklace is impeccably textured, with every hand-formed circular link displaying a dotted and textured star pattern with a lovely rich gold color. The necklace is light and delicate looking, but quite a solid gold piece. The chain is approximately 41 inches long and weighs 112 grams or 3.95 ounces. It is an original piece from the 1820s, although due to the different gold content of clasp and links, these might have been created separately. It is a long chain, the 41 inches give it a lot of versatility: it can be worn around the neck once or twice.
The links are approximately 10mm round and 4.2mm wide. Each link was individually made and hand-joined. The clasp is 1 1/8" long and about 5/8" at the widest point unmarked but tests to be 14K. The well saturated green emerald on the hand clasp is approximately 3mm and the diamond in the ring 1mm. The links also unmarked have been tested to 18 karat gold.
A Georgian muff chain such as this one is rare to find, and today makes a desirable piece to add to an antique jewelry collection, for some considered a holy grail. Muff chains are always long, as they were used to string through a muff of fur that kept a woman’s hands warm when she was outside, and would attach the fur to her coat when indoors.