Kirsten's Corner

Vintage 18K Gold Etruscan Revival Extra Large Lantern Charm with Encrusted Jewels


This vintage 18k gold Italian lantern charm is encrusted with citrine, amethyst, garnet, tourmaline and turquoise, bezel set among Etruscan Revival wirework and granulation. The ornate vintage piece was most likely first purchased at the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge in Florence famous for its jewelry shops and decadent baubles. The charm is oversized—the largest we’ve come across in this style. Layered like a wedding cake, the bottom tier contains gemstones in an array of saturated jewel tones—from vivid green tourmaline to brick red spessartine garnet to dusty purple amethyst . In the middle tier, turquoise cabochons are held in a crimped bezel setting—like a flower or ruffle—a jewelry technique that has been used since the Victorian era, giving the piece an antique feel. The top tier features garnet cabochons delineated by rows of granulation. 

The shape of the charm represents the street lamps used in ancient Italian cities—imagine the city streets lit with moonlight and bejeweled lanterns. This beautiful pendant captures the magic of this image and makes a wonderful homage to another time and place. 

The charm weighs 24.2 grams. It measures 1 5/8” x 1 1/8”, plus a 7.6 mm round bail. It is unmarked but acid tests as 18k. The bottom row contains approximately 12 carats of jewels (citrine, amethyst, garnet, spessartine garnet, and tourmaline). The middle row contains approximately 2 carats of turquoise. The top row contains approximately 8 carats of garnet. 

Circa 1960. 

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