Jewelry Suite, ca. 1850
I brought a set of jewelry that was given as an engagement gift, my six-greats grandfather to the woman that he was marrying. He was a steamboat captain. After he made his fortune in the lead mines of Galena, and she was a doctor.
And what year did they get married?
We normally think of engagement gifts as a ring. Well, at times, what was given for engagements was other pieces of jewelry, especially bracelets. So, what she received for her engagement gift was this suite of jewelry. We see the two little bar pins right here. We see the large bar pin or brooch, and then we have the bangle bracelet. What is unusual, and what's special about this, is that this bracelet is actually a watch. Now, what we have here is a solid gold bangle bracelet. It's got a covered top that conceals or hides the watch. It's set with natural pearls and blue guilloche enamel. We open this bezel here, the watch comes out and it can be worn around the neck. Now, this was given to her 70 years before it became popular for anybody to wear a wristwatch. This is a key-wind watch, it's made in Switzerland, and this looks exactly as the day he presented this to her. This was not an inexpensive thing at the time. She was a very lucky lady. In a retail sale, I could see this whole suite, especially the watch, but all together, bringing $15,000.
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