HORACE WELCH Late Art Deco 14kt Floating Opal Bulb Pendant
Originally a mechanical engineer, Horace Welch was the original inventor of the "Floating Opal." This delightful jewelry creation consists of delicate opal chips that float freely within a glass bulb, and they reached widespread appeal and popularity. Welch first conceived of the idea in 1920, and spent the remainder of his career patenting and perfecting the design, until his death in 1947. After his passing, the adoration of his Floating Opal design lived on, and multiple companies began producing their own versions once his patent expired. However, the original Horace Welch designs always have a special place among collectors, and remain a tribute to Welch's ingenuity and lifelong work.
This beautiful and unusual piece is an original Horace Welch "Floating Opal" pendant from the late Art Deco (ca1931) era! This stunning pendant is comprised of a single hand blown glass bulb, which holds numerous floating opal pieces inside. The vibrant opal chunks float freely in glycerin, allowing slow movement of the colors to sparkle and shimmer in the light. A decorative tulip-shaped cap crafted in 14kt yellow gold finishes the design perfectly, accented with fine heart detail. Stamped on the top of the cap is "14K" along with "PAT. 10.13.31." The beautiful design creates a colorful and alluring appearance, and is a wonderful example of Horace Welch's work! Perfect for the opal lover or vintage jewelry collector, it would make a special everyday accessory.
Measurements: The floating opal pendant hangs 1 3/8" long and measures a little less than 5/8" wide and thick at the base.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the glass ball pendant, opal fragments, or to the gold setting.