• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2061

    New York Jewels

    11 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 18

    A GROUP OF ANTIQUE BERLIN IRONWORKS JEWELRY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GROUP OF ANTIQUE BERLIN IRONWORKS JEWELRY
    Comprising a necklace, suspending an openwork iron mesh cross, joined by an open looped plaque, from an iron link neckchain; a pair of bracelets, each designed as a series of looped iron links, each centering upon an openwork flower, to the pierced foliate clasp; a pair of ear pendants, each designed as a lozenge-shaped iron plaque, suspending a graduated looped pendant and three mesh drops; a brooch, centering upon a concentric circle of iron springs within a looped plaque surround, suspending three drop pendants, circa 1815, necklace 21¾ ins., bracelets 8 ins. each, (accompanied by a buckle of later addition, centering upon a rectangular sculpted iron plaque, bordered by openwork foliate detail), in a red leather fitted case (6)


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    During the War of Liberation, in a plea to assist the struggling economy and to finance the uprising against Napoleon, the Prussian royal family urged women to donate their gold jewelry to the State. In return, the donors were given replacement jewelry made of iron, often bearing the inscription Gold gab ich für Eisen ("I gave gold for iron"). Reaching its peak between 1813 and 1815, Berlin Ironworks jewelry became a fashionable expression of patriotism.