RESERVED for H only please. 3rd payment of 5- due end September 2022
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 the leading 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 necklace. 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 necklace has flown “under the radar” for a long time.
This necklace is exciting on so many levels, not least because of its form. The pendant section has a three part construction – a shield form, with the main diamond shaped plaque below it and finally, suspended at the bottom is a blue moonstone drop. On the top shield section we see a central moonstone flanked by a blister pearl either side. Stylised leaves are interspersed through the top plaque. You need to keep reminding yourself how much work has gone into this piece of hand crafted magic….it is astounding!
Moving on to the central section of the pendant, there is a large central moonstone with small green chrysoberyls at the four compass points. I love that the stones set at the E and W positions are held within the form of flowers, which we can see in other Gaskins’ pieces. Leaves and tiny silver balls intersperse the design here too. A slim and fine drop, consisting of a decorated silver ball and then the elongated oval moonstone with the Gaskin tell-tale little balls on the periphery at S, E and W positions. The moonstones all have that wonderful blue hue and the colour combination is really quite delicious, with the clear / pale blue / white and green. Inspired.
Even the chain has gem stone and silver features. Continuing the theme of moonstones and chrysoberyl, we can see an oval, bezel set green chrysoberyl stone first on each side, followed by a four petalled silver feature (again seen in some other necklaces in the Arthur and Georgie Gaskin book by Birmingham Museums and Galleries). This is followed by another beautifully set moonstone and this being followed by another four petalled silver detail. A piece of chain is then visible before the final detail on each side, which is a large silver linking piece with holes and a star design cut-out. Again, this is a confirmed feature appearing in some other necklaces documented in the same book mentioned above.
So many things I have not mentioned, such as the tiny detailing at the base of the stones’ setting so you will still have plenty to discover yourself. The back of the necklace is just wonderful- I adore how Gaskins’ work is finished to such a beautiful standard on the reverse. It really is the best craftspersonship.
The drop on the 3 part pendant section is approx 7 cm in height and the wearable length of the chain is approx 48.5cm (approx 19 inches). In pleasing condition, just had a catch replacement obviously over its lifetime and there is some patina which you may wish to clean. A fabulous thing which encapsulates so much of the Gaskins’ design and execution, using well recognised motifs. The stuff of collectors’ dreams.
PLEASE NOTE I CAN NOW NO LONGER SEND TO GERMANY DUE TO CHANGES IN PACKAGING LAWS THERE.