Early Victorian Rare 18kt Repousse Mythological Bird Bracelet
A rare and magnificent Indian bracelet from the Early Victorian (ca1850) era! The bracelet is remarkably substantial, both in size and appearance. Handcrafted in 18kt yellow gold, it has a mythological bird motif, which is richly detailed with a textured repousse surface. At the center of the piece are the heads of two large birds, which have pointed beaks and gemstone eyes (represented by luscious ruby cabochons in raised bezel settings). The birds grasp a central basin in their open beaks, which also has a hidden clasp feature. A raised ruby and gold knob at the top unscrews to open the bracelet from the center, functioning as a pin clasp. The bird head motif continues along the entire sides and back of the bracelet, comprised of a series of eyes and beaks that gradually diminish in size. The sculpted repousse work is simply phenomenal, and is further enhanced with fine hand etched details throughout. Based on the style of the design, it appears to be of Indian origin, though there are no noticeable hallmarks present. When worn, the bracelet makes an impressive statement piece, and is a must for the serious Indian collector!
Measurements: The inside of the bracelet (where your wrist would rest) measures approximately 2 1/4" wide and 1 1/2" high. It would fit nicely on an average sized wrist. The surface width of the bracelet measures approximately 7/8" wide and thick at the center, and tapers to 3/8" wide and thick at the back. The total pennyweight of the piece is 29.7 dwt (46.2 grams).
Condition: Due to age, the bracelet shows some signs of previous wear, but remains in wearable condition. The gold setting has a few small cracks and surface punctures due to the hollow design. However, they are minor enough to remain unnoticeable when worn, and do not detract from the magnificence of this collectible piece. All five ruby cabochons are intact, and while one rests deeper into the surface of the bezel than the others, all are securely set. The screw-in pin and hinged clasp feature is secure and in good working condition. There is a natural patina that gives a darkened antique appearance to the grooves of the gold setting. This is normal for an early Victorian piece and adds to its unique character.