Antique ‘pinchbeck’ long chain dating to the Victorian era featuring fancy links interspersed with round belcher links.
Probably originating in France this wonderful ornate chain has the appearance of warm hued high carat gold as was the intention of ‘Pinchbeck’ with out the price tag.
History of Pinchbeck
Pinchbeck is a form of brass an alloy of copper and zinc mixed in proportions so that it closely resembles gold in appearance. It was invented in the early 18th century by Christopher Pinchbeck (died 1732), a London clock- and watch-maker.
Since gold was only sold in 18-carat quality at that time, the development of pinchbeck allowed ordinary people to buy gold 'effect' jewellery on a budget.
The inventor allegedly made pinchbeck jewellery clearly labelled as such. Pinchbeck jewellery was used in places like stagecoaches where there was a risk of theft.
Pinchbeck fell out of use in the second half of the 19th century, being replaced by low-carat gold which had been legalised in 1854.
Today, depending on the dealer, "Pinchbeck" can mean original Pinchbeck or any gilt metal. Pinchbeck is typically composed of copper and zinc in ratios of;
89% copper to 11% zinc; or 93% copper to 7% zinc.
We have had this wonderful chain tested by XRF (X-ray Fluorescence) and it indeed tested for approximately 80% copper and 18% zinc with a few other minute additives.
Of course it does not date to the 1700’s and is therefore not ’true’ and original Pinchbeck by Christopher Pinchbeck, however it is superb.
Long enough to wrap twice around the neck theses chains are so versatile.
Very very good antique condition. No repairs to links, all links strong and original. Warm golden patina. Lovely chain.Purchase Summary
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