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Sterling Silver Paste Cross Pendant C. 1780

Sterling Silver Paste Cross Pendant C. 1780

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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Jewelry: Pre 1800: Item # 1428040
Moylan-Smelkinson/The Spare Room
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P.O. Box 4684
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
tel. 410-435-3738

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This is the wonderful Latin cross pendant you have been looking for. Crafted by 18th century jewelry artisans, our cross is made from 18th century paste and backed by sterling silver. A unique feature of Georgian jewelry is that as much care was taken in the design and craftsmanship of the back as on the front; the pendant can be worn on either side. One might wear the glittery paste side that will shimmer in the light at night, and for an informal day out, the more subdued silver side (pictures of both shown in photos). Almost two and one half inches in length, our cross makes a significant impact when hung from a silver chain. Paste is a gem like material made from a secret formula of leaded glass invented by George Ravenscroft, a 17th century London glassmaker and later perfected by George Strass, an 18th century French jeweler, designed to resemble precious gemstones. It took a great deal of labor to hand carve each gem and make the beautiful cluster designs seen on antique jewelry, shoe buckles and buttons and decorative objects. Paste appealed to women of modest means as well as the rich, who liked to wear paste as their traveling jewelry. The story of 18th century paste jewelry is indeed a fascinating one and has an appeal all its own. As paste cannot be recreated, it has become quite collectible. For more information about paste jewelry, and indeed there is much to learn about it, the best resource we have found is the book Antique Paste Jewelry by MDS Lewis (Malcolm David Samuel Lewis).