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Sunday, 5 June 2011

An antique KOKOSHNIK necklace

This is an incredibly beautiful necklace set with over 60 carats of old cut diamonds and mounted in silver and gold. It was made in the 1890 in the very popular Kokoshnik style of that period. Also called Russian Fringes, this graduated way of mounting gemstones was extremely fashionable in Europe at the end of the XIX Century and the turn of the twentieth. The style, mostly used in tiaras as well as necklaces was inspired by the grand russian Imperial Court. A Kokoshnik is a traditional women head dress that used to match the pattern of the dress, it was worn for ceremonies and to dress up and the bejewelled tiara version of it was the Court's official dress code until the Revolution.

This piece will be auctioned at Christie's London on June 8th.

There is substantial literature about this style of antique jewellery since many important pieces that have survived until today were designed in this fashion. Queen Elisabeth's one in her personal collection is one of the most magnificent examples.