Art Nouveau 14kt Multi-Gemstone Harlequin Festoon Necklace
The term "Harlequin jewelry" refers to a colorful style that gained popularity during the Victorian era and throughout the turn of the century. The name is derived from a theatrical stock character from Italian Commedia dell'arte, known as "The Harlequin." Traditionally depicted in a colorful checkered costume, The Harlequin later appeared in English theater during the 17th century. Harlequin jewelry subsequently became a style that incorporated a combination of colorful gems or enameled patterns, creating a clustered or checkered appearance. Some of the Harlequin designs were also acrostic pieces, with each gemstone representing a letter to spell out a word. While Harlequin jewelry is still manufactured in contemporary designs, the antique pieces are especially sought after by collectors!
This beautiful multi-gemstone necklace from the Art Nouveau (ca1900) era is a wonderful example of Harlequin jewelry! Crafted in 14kt yellow gold, this piece is comprised of colorful gemstones that hang from a chain in a festoon style. The graduating stones are faceted, and vary in shape, catching the light beautifully in their open-back bezel settings. The multitude of gemstones include blue zircon, amethyst, aquamarine, pink sapphire, green tourmaline, smoky and rock quartz, blue topaz, and garnet to create an incredibly colorful array. The center stone is attached to a polished gold link, allowing it to hang slightly longer than the rest. Securing the necklace at the back is an infinity- style clasp that hooks around the loop at the end of the chain. When worn, the piece drapes elegantly along the neckline. Perfect for special occasions, this gorgeous Harlequin necklace would make a lovely addition to any antique jewelry collection!
Measurements: The necklace measures approximately 16” long. The festoon links hang at varying lengths, with the longest strand at the center measuring approximately 1" long, and the shortest measuring about 1/2" long.
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 gemstones are intact and securely set. The clasp is secure and in good working condition.