Portuguese Pink Topaz Rococo Necklace
A sumptuous ‘Minas Novas’ Portuguese Rococo necklace of foiled pink topaz and natural rock crystal, circa 1760, the apogee of 18th Portuguese jewellery. It is comprised of plump clusters and foliate elements set silver, with a detachable girandole drop and a further elaborate tassel pendant. The girandole and the tassel can be detached. The gems are each calibre-cut which is typical of the period and subtly foiled to show a variation of shades of pink that is quite stunning. Quartz, topaz and chrysoberyls were mined in Brazil in the 18th century and collectively described as ‘Minas Novas’ by the Portuguese. Jewels such as this were designed to enable the light to draw the maximum effect of refraction, colour and fire from the gemstones, which dazzled especially when seen in flickering candlelight. The necklace is 7.5 inches long and 1/2 an inch wide. As it has ribbon fittings it will fit a neck of any size. The girandole drop is 2 and 1/4 inches wide and 1.5 inches long. The tassel is 2 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. A truly stunning piece of 18th Portuguese 18th century jewellery of the finest quality. For a similar necklace see p.84 in Five Centuries of Jewellery, National Museum of Ancient Art,Lisbon. Splendour and fantasy.