Berlin iron jewelry was produced in Germany by the Berlin Royal Foundry beginning in 1804. Previously, iron jewelry had primarily been worn in periods of mourning due to its dark color. However, it reached a high point of popularity between 1813 and 1819. To fund the War of Liberation against Napolean, citizens were asked to donate their precious gold in exchange for iron jewelry, which was sometimes inscribed with a portrait of Frederick William III of Prussia or the words "Gold gab ich für Eisen" (meaning "I gave gold for iron") or "Für das Wohl des Vaterlands" ("For the welfare of our country/fatherland"). Almost overnight, Berlin iron jewelry became a symbol of patriotism, and its beautiful fabrication and lacy appearance gave it widespread appeal. Authentic Berlin iron jewelry is now very rare, and well-preserved pieces have become very collectible!
A truly exceptional Berlin iron necklace from the Georgian (ca1815) era! Made of cast iron, this well-preserved piece is an absolutely gorgeous work of art. The finely made piece is comprised of 15 ornate links that are thin and flat, allowing it to lay beautifully along the neckline. Graduating floral links alternate with pictorial links depicting neoclassical allegoric scenes. The Berlin ironwork has rich, black color which creates a dramatic silhouette-like appearance. The clasp, which is original, is incorporated into the design and hidden beneath one of the flower shaped links. This very special piece looks absolutely stunning on and would make an impressive addition to any collection!
Measurements: The necklace measures 20" long. The largest link measures approximately 1 3/8", 1 3/4" wide and 1/16" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the piece is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the ironwork and the clasp is secure and in good working condition. There is a very small rust spot and minor surface wear on some of the links, however none of which is noticeable when worn.