Kirsten's Corner Jewelry
Early Victorian Pinchbeck Turquoise & Garnet Cross Pendant
A gorgeous pinchbeck cross pendant decorated with turquoise gemstones and garnets. The combination of colors on the pendant is beautiful; the opaque greens and turquoise variation found in the natural gemstones along with the luminous deep wine red garnets is a pleasure to look at. Pinchbeck is a metal alloy that doesn't oxide making pinchbeck a really rare material- a wonderful jewel with beauty and history- ornate with such beautiful gemstones. The pinchbeck that holds these gems together is superbly decorated, with tiny sculpted flowers and exquisite bright-cut work. The cross pendant is reticulated and has lovely ornamentation both on the front and the back.
The cross features turquoise clusters that create flowers at every end of the cross. The long nave, of trunk of the cross has a line of garnets; the center has a flower pattern made up of alternating and highly saturated gems. The cross measures 2-3/4 x 1-3/4 inches. It is made up 26 turquoise gemstones that range in ovals to circles, from 3.5mm to 1.5mm. The 8 circular garnets are table top cuts, of approximately 5 mm in size. This pinchbeck cross pendant dates to the 1820s-40s making it a late Georgian or early Victorian piece. It is ready to hang from a silver bale, on the chain of your choice.
Pinchbeck is a rare metal alloy that was once used for more affordable jewelry making- and as a result became the best "stagecoach" jewelry. We see its beautiful yellow gold color here, more vibrant on the face than the back of the cross but giving off the impression of dense gold. Pinchbeck was worn to decorate the body in an inexpensive manner, particularly on a long coach ride where one might succumb to being robbed by bandits or highwaymen.
Pinchbeck was invented by Christopher Pinchbeck, a London clockmaker in the 18th Century. His metal alloy became so popular that many pieces of jewelry were claimed to be pinchbeck, although they were not. Pinchbeck is a rare material, and today is highly collectible. It makes a great addition to any jewelry collection. This cross has superb hand-made elaborate work, making this pendant a very unique piece. The cross does not come on the chain but we have many available in the store. Perfect to complement any Boho-chic look!