Arthur and Georgie Gaskin were the power couple of the British Arts and Crafts movement in the early years of the twentieth century. They were considered one of the very best British jewellers of the era and their wonderful pieces are exhibited all over the world in top museums and galleries, from the UK, to the US to Australia. Arthur Gaskin was Head Master at the Vittoria School in Birmingham, whilst Georgie made most of the jewellery herself. They had a studio on the outskirts of Birmingham, where they invited talented pupils of the school to come and help make their jewellery-Bernard Instone was one such name.
When you come across a piece of the Gaskins’ jewellery now, quite often I have noticed it is a part pendant with an empty loop (where there should have been a suspended drop, for example) so it is really rare to find an intact pendant like this. Any internet search will throw up astronomical prices for their work – £6,500 for a brooch- US$ 50,000 for a necklace. Unbelievable! However-their pieces do remain highly sought after and I believe this pendant necklace has flown “under the radar” for a long time.
Such an elegant and pretty pendant with the pinky purple of the domed amethyst and the white of the blister pearl drop – so very typical of the stones selected by the Gaskins and by the Arts and Crafts jewellers generally. This lovely pendant has so many of the Gaskins’ motifs and if you study each leaf, flower and loop, both front and verso, it will bring a smile to your face. I have left the patina but if you prefer you might decide to polish it away. Even the bale is indicative of the Gaskins, with the studded line of tiny silver balls down its centre. The intricate verso to the piece positively sings with precision.
In excellent order…every tiny leaf, every flower and every cluster of berries in the design is present and the stones are undamaged- she has been well looked-after. The long silver sautoir chain might well be the original; it has had a change of catch over the years. It is a lovely substantial paperclip link chain and measures approx 98cm (38.5 inches) in length. The pendant drop is approx 6cm including the bale.
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