American Art Nouveau Necklace, ca. 1910
My grandfather was the owner of a jewelry store in Fort Worth, and he did loans and sales and everything in the world. And evidently he bought this from someone, gave it to my mother-- he had four daughters, and she lucked out and got this. And she gave it to me. I don't know much about it, no signature that I could find.
And when would you say your grandfather's store was open in Fort Worth? Do you know the dates of the store?
Late 1800s, probably into the '40s. And the convention center is now standing where his store was.
Well, how fun that we're here today. The necklace is back where it started, I suppose.
Right, I think so.
Well, what we have here is an American Art Nouveau necklace. It's from the Art Nouveau period, which dated from about 1890 to 1910. It's set in yellow gold. We have freshwater pearls, a little diamond and diamond accents throughout, and beautiful plique-à-jour design. Plique-à-jour is a French term. It means "letting in the daylight." And so it's this enamelwork around this beautiful woman's face, and there's no backing to it, so the light can shine right through it. Very pretty profile of a lady, typical of Art Nouveau jewelry. I was not about to find a signature on this piece either, so I don't think we're going to be able to find out who made it. I think it dates to about 1910, just the end of the period. It's in wonderful condition. Where have you been keeping it all these years?
I hate to tell you: in a box. I took it out one time to wear it on a black cocktail dress because it shows up nicely on black background. And my grandson was looking through my jewelry in a drawer and he said, "What's in the blue box?" And I said, "Oh, what was my mother's necklace." He says, "Grandma, you should wear it!" (laughs)
He's so funny.
Well, he has very good taste, I would say. Today, at auction, I would expect it to bring somewhere between $4,000 and $6,000.
Wow, that's a lot for a necklace that sits in a box. (chuckles)
I think I'll start wearing it. (laughter)
I think you should.
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