Pendant cross type “Flemish” or “Antwerp” in silver on top and backed with 18K red gold, set with 16 rose cut diamonds in close setting. The rose cuts are set on foil, this is a special technique that was used to bring the lustre of the diamonds to its best quality.
This jewel is a fine example of the skill and craftsmanship of jewelers in Antwerp in the 18th and 19th century. The city was well known for centuries for its wealth which resulted in sumptuous jewels set with diamonds. The influence of religion was very present in those days, the refinement, the materials and the stones reinforced this sign of devotion. This type of cross was worn on a long silver chain and was a very expensive gift worn by pretty women in the north of Belgium in the first half of the 19th century.
The technique “silver on top and backed with 18K red gold” finds its origin centuries ago, when jewelers believed that only a silver mounting could render the true beauty of a diamond. Backing the silver jewel with a (thin) layer of gold was a practical precaution taken to avoid the silver jewelry leaving black stains on clothing or skin.
Most of these crosses are now owned by the church or in private collections.
Cross “Anversoise” ref.10343-0049
diamonds, silver, 18 carats red gold
control mark letter ‘E’
origin: Belgium – Antwerp
height: 3.48 cm (1.37 inch)
weight: 3.50 grams