This Victorian necklace is as rare as it is beautiful. I have seen few pieces of jewelry from this era in gold set with abalone. The use of the abalone shell in this piece is artfully done. Using gold wire to create cells the way one would for enamel, the jeweler cut and laid the abalone at different angles to create different textures and light refraction. The nimbus ring on the cross which defines it as a Celtic cross glows rather than shines due to the unique use of the shell. The Celtic Cross emerged in Ireland and Britain in the early middle ages and continues to be a popular form. This piece dates to the mid-1800's and is marked for the maker, H.J.B., and gold content, 9c, both on the cross back and the clasp. It lays beautifully on the neck.
Materials: Abalone shell, and 9k yellow gold.
Measurements: 16.5" long, the drop with cross 2.74", the width of the links .34".
Era: mid-1800 's
Condition: Excellent with some wear in keeping with its age.