This antique gold and malachite parure is unreal.
So right off the bat, the colors are incredible. The warm, buttery gold in its scrolling repoussé frames is a perfect foil to the rich, swirling green of the malachite. The necklace is just about 18 inches, which is precisely how long I was hoping it would be. A bold piece like this demands sufficient space.
The colors are what I fell for right away, but then I noticed something else:
They’re all cameos!!! Each of the malachites is carved to depict a different classical scene. This one shows a woman with a swan (possibly Leda?).
Here’s a look at the gold and malachite earrings. The malachite cameos of the earrings depict Diana and Atlanta, respectively.
And here’s the gold and malachite ring. This malachite is carved to resemble a woman in the classical style, but she hasn’t been identified as any particular figure. The carving really is exquisite; look at the delicate tendrils of hair cascading down her neck.
Here’s another detail of the necklace. It’s not easy to see the lines of the carving against the lines of the malachite in the photograph, but you can see some of it (especially if you’re looking for it).
What do you think of this parure? I think it’s glorious, obviously. Sign me up!
This antique gold and malachite parure was listed in a Sotheby’s auction. All images and info are thanks to Sotheby’s.