Lovely paste cluster necklace set in silver and backed in 15k gold. Paste jewelry refers to jewelry made from a type of leaded glass invented in the late 1600's and was used to simulate precious gemstones. Paste achieved its greatest prominence in the 18th century, when several discoveries, including that of English flint glass as well as improvements in candlelight, the perfect illumination for paste jewelry, helped usher in antique paste jewelry. Jewelry artisans carved leaded glass into "gemstones" with such a degree of technical perfection that the metal links could scarcely be seen and each paste stone is carved to fit perfectly next to the neighboring stone. The individually carved pastes were carefully set into mounts to create beautiful designs, which were made into into necklaces, rings, earrings, belts and shoe buckles. Paste jewelry was often considered "traveling" jewelry by high society women who preferred not to carry their precious gems when they traveled, and paste jewelry became very much sought after in 18th and 19th centuries. The pastes on our cluster Riviere are graduated in size (as the stones on a proper paste riviere should be) and look elegant and as a choker about the neck. The necklace has a Georgian closed back and the paste clusters are mounted in silver but set in gold. The necklace is 14 ½ inches in length.