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Victorian Siberian Amethyst Pansy Pendant

Victorian Siberian Amethyst Pansy Pendant



DATE: Victorian, c.1900

The name "pansy" derives from the French pensée (meaning thought), and was incorporated into Late Middle English as a name for violas (the flower) in the mid 1400s. These flowers were thus regarded as a symbol of remembrance, representing "love in idleness" to evoke the image of a lover who can focus on nothing but the thought of her/his beloved. 

Pansy is used more-or-less interchangeably with viola and violet when describing flowers of the type Viola tricolor var. hortensis (such as is depicted here). One distinction occasionally cited is that plants considered to be pansies have four petals pointing upwards (the two side petals point up), and one pointing down whereas violets have two petals pointing up and three pointing down. Another, used by the American Violet Society, states that pansies differ from violets/violas by possessing a "well-defined 'blotch' or 'eye' in the middle of the flower'. Wild pansies are known by a variety of weird and interesting names such as: heartsease or heart's ease, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, three faces in a hood, pink of my john, heart's delight, tickle-my-fancy, and the aforementioned love-in-idleness (don't ask me about any of the rest...).

This outrageous antique pansy (or technically violet? Depends who you ask...) pendant dates from the late Victorian era, circa 1900. The petals are five large, internally flawless pieces of Siberian amethyst, expertly cut to give an impression of motion and life as it moves through the light. The facets at the back create vivid, unpredictable flashes of deep and light purple, while the tops are wonderfully contoured to mimic the form of real flower petals, with such extreme attention to detail that the ends of two of them (top right and bottom) are slightly warped as if blown in the wind. The petals are arranged around a central old mince cut diamond, and the original diamond-set bail remains present. It's nothing short of exceptional in every way, both design and execution run as close to perfection as is possible. 


Siberian Amethyst

Old Mine Cut and Rose Cut Diamonds (total diamond weight approx. 0.45ct)


5.4 x 3.8cm (including bail)




No marks present, tests as 18k gold and silver




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