Victorian 18kt & Diamond "Saint Esprit" Dove Necklace 2.00ctw
The "Saint Esprit" is historically a Christian symbol (meaning "Holy Spirit" in French) that is represented in the form of a dove. Worn by Protestants and Catholics alike, the Saint Esprit dove in jewelry form can be traced back to pieces dating as early as the mid 1700s. It became very popular in France during the 18th century, and was often worn by peasant women in cross designs that incorporated either real gemstones or French paste. The dove itself is highly symbolic in many cultures and faiths, widely recognized as a representation of peace, love, or fidelity. Although the Saint Esprit is still used in modern jewelry designs today, the antique pieces that have been passed through generations have now become especially desirable!
A truly stunning Saint Esprit dove necklace from the early Victorian era (ca1850)! Made of 18kt yellow gold, the necklace incorporates a diamond encrusted Saint Esprit pendant that hangs from an antique chain. The dove is shown in the traditional fashion, pictured from above, with both wings spread wide in flight. The entire surface of the dove is encrusted with dozens of sparkling diamonds in an open back pavé setting, weighing approximately 2.00ctw combined. The majority of the diamonds are old Rose Cut stones, which surround a large cushion cut diamond at the center. A few old Mine Cut diamonds are interspersed throughout the design, including one on each wing, two on the body, and one at the center of the head. The bird dangles a pear shaped diamond from its beak, which is prong set and swings with lovely movement at the base. Two delicate ruby cabochons represent the eyes. Completing the design is a complimentary diamond bail and Victorian chain. The necklace fastens with a gold barrel catch at the back. A spectacular and symbolic antique piece, the necklace looks gorgeous when worn and would make a special addition to any collection!
Measurements: The chain measures 19 1/4" long, and the Saint Esprit pendant hangs 2 1/8" long in the center (including the bail). The dove itself measures 1 3/8" long from beak to tail, and has a 1 1/2" wingspan.
Condition: The overall condition of the necklace is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the gold setting. All of the diamonds are intact and securely set. The chain and bail are in good condition, and the clasp fastens in good working order. There is a natural patina on the surface of the gold, which is normal for antique jewelry and adds to its unique character and beauty.