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Edwardian Platinum and Diamond Lorgnette Pendant

Dating from circa 1900-1910, this Edwardian pendant lorgnette is composed of platinum and diamonds. The lorgnette is formed as a reeded column with pierced diamond foliate elements suspending retractable reading lenses with stylized geometric motif frames, with millegrain accents and bezel-set diamond highlights. A surviving testament to the lost art of handwrought platinum, this elegant little luxury item is both beautiful and practical.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: N-21080
Circa: 1900-1910
Dimensions: 3.50" length, 2.75" width.
Materials: 45 old mine and old single-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 0.50 carat); Platinum

The introduction of the oxy-hydrogen torch in the 1870s was soon adopted by jewelers and applied to platinum, a metal that had defied European attempts to incorporate it into jewelry for centuries. Soon used to lighten fashionable jewelry settings on both sides of the Atlantic, it replaced silver-topped gold as a mounting for diamonds in the early 1870s. By 1900, the Cartiers had led the Parisian jewelry community into the so-called "Platinum Reformation" where settings were further refined, turning the platinum's unique combination of strength and ductility to advantage, reducing mountings to near invisibility. A demanding metal craft requiring single-minded dedication, apprenticeship for platinum workers in Paris could last as long as eleven years.