A truly exceptional ruby and enamel cross from the Georgian era, late 18th century! The rare cross is made of approximately 18.35k yellow gold and features enamel decoration and eight natural rubies. The ornate Georgian piece can be worn in two equally lovely ways, the top ribbon piece can be detached from the cross, allowing it to be worn as a small 'slider' pendant, and the cross can also be worn alone as a pendant by adding a jump ring.
The exquisite piece is likely Western European origin and features eight natural pinkish red rubies which display a subtle shimmer at every direction. Typical of the Georgian era, each ruby is placed in a rub-over collet setting and each display a subtle shimmer at each turn due to the foil-back closed settings. Each ruby varies slightly in size and shape; the centre ruby is a larger oval cut and others vary from rectangular table-cut (aka flat-top), squarish cushion cut and oval cut. Each display natural internal inclusions under magnification, indicative of earth-mined corundum.
The piece is beautifully hand-wrought, right down to the fine hand enamel details to the front and back side. Inspired by nature, the red guilloche enamel acanthus leaves decorates each corner of the center ruby to cross and ribbon. Commensurate with age, there is some enamel loss to ribbon leaves. Accented at the end of each cross arm (except the top) are leaf like curled (claw-esque) motifs decorated with red and green guilloche enamel - again some age related enamel loss can be seen upon close view. Black and white nature-inspired enamel patterning surrounds each of the eight ruby sections. A cobalt blue and red floret, along with flowing scroll enamel work decorates the surface of the ribbon. Equally as exquisite is the backside of the cross, displaying ornate floret and scroll enamel decoration to each of the seven cross sections. The ribbon section retains its original slides on the reverse, so that the piece could (and still can be!) worn on a ribbon high on the neck.
A rare jewelled cross from the graceful Georgian era. Typically worn as a fashion statement as well as a symbol of faith, and once bedecked upon the décolleté of an affluent Georgian lady from a European city. Today this exceptional cross would look just as lavish and powerful as it did three centuries ago...