Exhibitor Spotlight: Joden World Resources
The Secret - Shakespearean Masterpiece in Renaissance Revival
The Secret: Shrouded in secrets, this one-of-a-kind masterwork is a study in the art of the jeweler. A personal homage to Shakespeare and his life's works - every aspect is symbolic and referential. Moreover, the greatest mystery of all...a very secret compartment containing was it purported to be a tiny fragment of Shakespeare's very own cape. A hoax? Might it be true? A clever and dramatic ploy by a Victorian Shakespearean actor to shroud his or her jewel is a veil of intrigue? It has the air of just that, yet...
Art Nouveau enameled Ulysse Nardin pocket watch
The Questions: Why was this made and by whom? Certainly a lover of the dramatic arts and theatre, only a devotee extraordinaire must have commissioned this as a fitting tribute to the Great Bard himself. Rich and important- the patron must have been to commission a work of this scope. It certainly was made to contain a hidden treasure. Why else make a concealed compartment so diminutive and difficult to detect that if you did not know it were there, most likely it would never be discovered? In addition, there is that tiny bit of red velvet we found inside. Could it be?
The Jewel: All hand made, every part to exact detail and perfection in 20k yellow gold and every component references the theatre or Shakespeare. Appropriate certainly to the times and to the poet & writer, its overall motif is Renaissance revival, a perfect milieu for Shakespeare. The mannerist and heavy and ornate gold work, the scrolls and arches, all take their cues from the motifs of the 16th century. Dual in nature, it is both a brooch and a pendant. In addition, a hook at the back allows a watch or other jewel to be suspended. The pendant bale folds down; the tube hinge is unscrewed and removed, unscrews and removes and the "C" clasp drops down so when worn as a brooch the bale does not show and vice versa.
Not to be outdone, the cover of the back of the locket has been painstakingly modeled after a tome or large book with massive straps of metal and leather. The hinge latches open and closes with a special lever - all worked in Renaissance motifs.
Yellow gold pin/pendant with plique a jour enamel, moonstone, diamond & natural pearlsThe Gems:
The work is dotted with five (5) petite cabochon natural rubies and seven (7) diamonds, most in rose cuts, one old mine cut and one rectangular cut that appears to be almost a pointed diamond but with a bit flatter "point" (the only diamond cut known at the time of Elizabeth I in the 16th century).
The Enamel: In oval form, the enamel was painted by William Essex. Known as one of the finest enamelists of the day, he was one of just a few appointed directly to work for the Queen Victoria. It is signed on the back, "Shakespeare after Chandos Picture by W. Essex. Enamellist painter to her Majesty AD 1859."
The Masque: An enamel theatre or drama masque is rendered in flesh tones. Behind it is a gold dagger; clearly a reference to Macbeth and even more so to the famous line from that play, "Is that a dagger I see before me?"
The Symbolism: A lyre in gold sits above the central elements. Long a symbol of the arts, its use dates back to classical antiquity when musicians played lyres to accompany the actors on the stage. As poets were awarded wreaths of laurel leaves, this golden wreath naturally surrounds our Shakespeare image. Reminiscent of balconies in great theatres, the scrolling sides of the pendant brooch could easily allude to the undulating box seats where patrons of import watch performances. Moreover, the scrolls below may be an allusion to parchments on which the actual plays of Shakespeare were written.
Provenance: From the personal collection of a world renowned, London master jeweler held for over 35 years.
Measurements: 2-13/16 inches in length not including the top bale (7.2 cm) and 3-1/8 inches (7.2 cm) with by 2-1/8 inches (5.3 cm) in width by ½ of an inch (1.4 cm) in depth not including the pin mechanism. This antique pendant brooch has a weight of 31.6 grams (20.3 dwt).
Platinum, Art Deco, bracelet containing one Old European cut diamond (weight 4.11 carats), 34 Old European cut diamonds (weight 5.89 carats) & sapphire trim
Excellent; some tiny scratches next to the secret compartment where it has been opened and shut over the last 150 years old. Tiny and hardly visible is an engraved jeweler's mark in the gold on the back of the locket bottom.
Date & Origin: Circa 1859 and is English in origin. 150 years old!
Overall Scale: Large and dramatic
Etruscan revival brooch with double hand painted amethystPersonal Connection:
Exceptionally rare as this is a one-of-a-kind and museum worthy. Certainly, it is the finest piece of jewelry from this time period which we have represented. We would like to share our knowledge and passion for this exceptional jewel by personally speaking with anyone interested in more information concerning this marvel.
Historical Note: Just last year, a portrait of Shakespeare painted in his lifetime has been uncovered. This is the first time that scholars believe that a true likeness of Shakespeare exists which was painted while he was still alive. Many other portraits are thought to be derived from earlier paintings. Controversy has always surrounded Shakespeare, his life and his portraits.
For more information please visit: