Jessie Marion King for Liberty & Co c1905 incredibly rare green enamel and pink tourmalines necklace in silver and gold


A spectacular enamel, silver and pink tourmalines piece by Jessie Marion King, c1905

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An intensely beautiful and important piece of hand wrought jewellery designed by Jessie Marion King for Liberty & Co of London, c1905. The design is confirmed in the Liberty Jewellery Sketchbook held in the Westminster Archives in London.  This is model number 9109 in the book. I have seen only two other versions of this necklace before, one with yellow enamel and citrines (privately owned) and the other with blue enamel and moonstones. The latter necklace is owned by National Museums Scotland, undoubtedly in recognition of the importance of Jessie King’s work. She was a leading character in the Glasgow Girls design genre. King worked for Liberty & Co c1904-1906, which is when this necklace would have been designed.

The colour combination on this particular necklace, which is stunning to say the least, of green enamel leaves and vibrant pink tourmalines for the flowers, is the only one thus far documented I believe. So, a rarity. It has graduated open work, foliate stations suspended from a silver chain. The largest drop is in the centre. Each faceted, pink tourmaline is contained within its own solid gold setting and there is something about that which adds further warmth to the already startling pink tourmalines.

The work is fine and exquisite, which you would completely expect from the work of Jessie King. Her “devil” was absolutely in the detail. On the verso, I love that you can see the organic nature of how she applied the leaves and so on. There is a lovely, original solid gold barrel fastener on the necklace which is stamped “PAT 7508”. The height of the central drop is approx 2cm and the wearable length of the chain is approx 41cm (16 inches) in length. In pleasing condition for her age, not least because the enamel is in pleasing condition and the pink tourmalines are all in excellent order. She is a delicate and fragile work of art and not really suitable for wearing as an everyday piece.

Literature: Jewelry & Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition by Elyse Zorn Karlin, pages 139-141

Glasgow Girls -Women in Art and Design 1880-1920, edited Jude Burkhauser, pages 132-139

Please note that the box in the images is not included in the sale, however, I will send this fabulous rarity in a new gift box to protect her well. I will send by courier internationally and by Special Delivery within the UK.