A lovely 14 karat yellow gold stick pin of a clam shell with a pearl at the center. The pearl almost floats at the center of the shell; the shell has realistic texture and lines both on the interior and the exterior. The piece is delicate and simple but has been nicely rendered. The shell measures 5/8 of an inch and the pearl is approximately 3.6mm in size. The creamy pearl really stands out against the yellow of the gold. The pin is unmarked but tests to 14 karats. It is in great condition. Weighs approximately 1.4 grams and measures 2 inches overall.
In the symbolic language of the Victorians, this type of shell was often a symbol of the feminine, of fertility and love. Today we can also think about all the mystical meanings behind the shell form that allude to strength, truth and fortitude.
Stick pins have a rich and interesting history. In the early and mid-1800s, it was customary for upper class men to wear tie pins to secure their cravats. Pins were also worn on the lapels of coats and incorporated into hats. Stick pins rose to prominence in the Victorian era.