Every piece of jewellery we sell has its own particular charm and beauty, and we select our new acquisitions carefully to present the best selection. That said, sometimes we discover something truly exceptional.
This wonderful pendant necklace was crafted in the mid 1920s during the Art Deco movement, which sought to create new and interesting forms of jewellery using the new methods available to the craftsmen of the day.
Much as the Art Deco movement sought to innovate it was not a rejection of what came before, rather it was a refinement. Craftsmen of this period drew upon the styles and designs of previous ages, which in turn drew inspiration from those who came before. In this way the old was made new, but continuity was maintained between the old world and the new.
This piece was crafted in the finest materials available - lustrous natural pearl and large, clear diamonds with platinum metalwork - all of which came together to form a wonderful depiction of the lily flower, but what is the significance of this pale bloom?
The lily flower has been revered by many cultures around the world for centuries, and has acquired many symbolic meanings.
The ancient Greek civilisation associated the white lily with the goddess Hera, who ruled as queen of Olympus with her husband Zeus. Zeus brought his illegitimate son, Hercules, to Hera to suckle at her breast whilst she slept, but when Hera woke she pushed the infant demigod away, and a few drops of her milk fell to the earth. These drops became the lily flower.
When Venus, goddess of love saw the beauty of the lily she was filled with jealousy, and cursed the lily to bear the pistil; the bright yellow stamen which springs from the heart of the flower. This association with the goddess of desire caused lilies to become associated with sexuality and lust.
In modern times the lily is mostly associated with purity, holiness and absolution. Christians associate it with the Virgin Mary for this reason, and as the flowers are in bloom around Easter they have become associated with absolution and rebirth, tying into Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, death and rebirth – an act which cleansed the sins of the world.
Through centuries of being associated with the actions of gods and goddesses the lily has been woven into many cultural events. The flower can often be seen in wedding bouquets, as a celebration of life tied to its earlier meanings. It is also used for funeral services, symbolising the forgiveness of sins and the departed soul’s entry into paradise.
Crafting the Lily
To create this beautiful piece the original jeweller drew on centuries of tradition and meaning, but also brought in the strong shapes and precise stylings of the Art Deco movement. The lily itself has been symmetrically fashioned, and cleverly crafted so that the slender stemmed stamen, each tipped with diamond, rise from the crown of the flower in parallel with one another.
The entire surface of the lily’s petals have been set with an array of diamonds, perfectly aligned to support one another and create a beautiful scintillating wave when the wearer moves. Where the flower opens two larger diamonds are set into the side petals, whilst an intriguing pentagon step cut diamond sits atop the central petal.
The pentagon step cut is an unusual choice for such a large diamond, but it has been selected with care for a particular purpose. The front facet of this cut is the shape of the profile of more regular cuts, giving the impression that the diamond has turned and we are looking through it from the side.
Two droppers hang from the stem of the lily, each formed from links of diamond encrusted platinum which articulate smoothly, and give the piece a sense of motion which adds to the organic forms. Here the jeweller has abandoned symmetry to allow the glorious natural pearl to sit atop the remarkable brilliant cut diamond. Natural pearls of his size are incredibly rare, and to find one in such excellent condition is truly fortunate.
The jeweller chose to mount these two most magnificent gems on articulated chains because it causes every movement of the wearer to be magnified, allowing light to flow across the surface of the pearl and into the heart of the diamond at a multitude of different angles. This means that when worn the pearl’s shimmer and the diamond’s scintillation are in constant motion, creating a moving play of light that allows the best characteristics of each to shine through.
This is quite simply one of the most beautiful pieces we have ever had the good fortune to acquire. It has been masterfully crafted with the finest materials that can be found. It is layered with meaning that stretches back into ancient antiquity, and it is a true testament to the skill, care and intellect of the jeweller who created it.
Do you have a question about this, or any of our other pieces? Why not get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on England: +44 (0) 333 700 4500.