Antique Archaeological Revival lapis lazuli and 18-carat gold necklace, circa 1870


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Mid-Victorian jewellery is epitomised by this lapis lazuli gold collar. Historical revivalism, particularly of ancient Italy, Greece, Egypt and – possibly in this case – Sumeria, was the height of fashion. 

I’ve included a photo of the jewellery worn by Sumeria’s Queen Pu Abi in about 2500 BC, now in the collection of the British Museum. It’s from one of my reference books, A History of Jewels by J Anderson Black. 

Classically inspired pieces like this work so well with modern jewellery. The symmetry and repetition of motifs are typical of this period – about 1860 to 1880.

This necklace was probably made in western Europe, possibly by a known maker – though not to me. 

It comes in a fitted box from Hancocks Jewellers in London’s Burlington Arcade and was sold by them about 20 or 30 years ago – shown by the age of the box. 

It’s a type of necklace they could have sold from new. Hancocks have a tradition of selling antique, revival and art jewellery.


• Handmade in 18-carat yellow gold

• Adorned with 40 lapis lazuli spheres

• Approximately 16 1/4 inches (41cm) long 

• Each drop is approximately 2cm long

• Weight is 15.6 grams

• In excellent antique condition

• Comes in a fitted box from Hancocks of London

Please examine the photographs carefully – they form part of the description. 

I’d be very happy to send more information and images. Layaway available.

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