This exceptionally rare cut steel chain is an early 19th century example, likely English in origin. Cut steel was a popular alternative for those who could not afford gold and wanted to avoid the pretension of pinchbeck. It was a well loved option, particularly for Protestants who rejected the opulence of more robust, glittering gold and gem set crosses, favored by Catholics in this period. This particular cut steel chain is one of my favorites that I’ve had the pleasure to handle, as the steel still maintains the flashing mirror quality these jewels were known to boast when they were fresh to the world. Yet, with a delicate, dark patina that recalls her early origins circa 1825. The geometric stations remind one of the Deco era, which would celebrate these stark lines a century later. While the soft facets of the dog clip base and connecting “o” ring remind us of the finest English long guards of the late 19th century. A special transitional era piece, this chain will make a shining addition to any collection and will be reached for with great frequency.
Materials and Features:
Early 19th century, English
Weight: 10.82 grams
Dimensions: 20” long
Condition: Note that the chain is tarnished. Minor associated age wear.
Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.
Cut Steel 20” Chain c. 1825