The Early Victorian Hand Clasp Necklace

20180530_TOIL_7221 copy.jpg
20180530_TOIL_7221 copy.jpg

The Early Victorian Hand Clasp Necklace

1,250.00

Metal: 18K Gold & 15K Gold chain (18”)

Stones: Ruby & Diamond

Pendant Size: .6” Wide

What You Should Know: Converted from a Victorian hand clasp! Clasp still works.

In Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, The Last Supper, each dinner guests’ hands are intentionally positioned in a certain way. Their hands represent their internal emotion and are used to communicate to the artwork’s viewer. Betrayal, forgiveness, & love all appear in the masterpiece. Choosing one of our most expressive physical features to convey feelings was no accident, and is even used in the same manner in antique jewelry.

Hands appearing in jewelry pre-dates the 18th century. Clasped hands, known as claddagh, rings were created to symbolize solidarity, fidelity, and affection. The mano cornuto is an ancient Italian amulet that was/ is used for protection from the evil eye, while the figa hand has adopted numerous meanings throughout history. The love of hand themed jewelry persisted into the 1800’s. 

During the Regency Era, it was deemed inappropriate for a lady to be seen without gloves. So bejeweled hands moved from the literal to figurative. Jewelry featuring hands became a beloved token, often in the form of a chain clasp. This divine early Victorian hand clasp is especially charming since it is wearing miniature jewelry of its own. A delicate golden hand wears a ruby bracelet and a diamond ring. A scalloped floral cuff boosts its femininity and its ladylike fingers reach for a recently added gold chain. We love this antique piece since it allows us to pile on secret jewels. 

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