Superb Antique Australian 15ct Yellow Gold Celestial Starburst Pearl Necklace Circa 1905
Natural Half Seed Pearls
Starburst 2.8cm diameter
Drop from ‘Crescent Moon’ segment - 4cm
End to end - Neck circumference 38cm
Starburst pendant/brooch is fully hallmarked for Willis and Sons 15ct
Necklace is fully hallmarked for Duggin, Shappere and Co. 15ct
Very good to excellent antique condition. Clasp is excellent, secure and sturdy. No repairs throughout. Pearls are all original, no replacements or re-glues. Chain is beautiful and very sturdy. Highly collectible piece of Australian antique signed jewellery.
Duggin, Shappere and Co. established their business in Howey Place, off Little Collins Street in Melbourne in 1896. It was one of the major jewellery manufacturers operating in Australian in the first quarter of the 20th century producing an extensive range of gold jewellery for the increasing demand from the ever growing Australian population. Their use of seed pearls is well known in their original designs of both pendants and brooches.
Their trademark hallmark featuring an ‘Anchor’ was used in conjunction with the guarantee marks of the Manufacturing Jewellers’ Association of Victoria, seen here on this remarkable original design.
Moving premises several times they settled into their final premises at 343 Little Collins Street where they continued until 1932.
History of Willis and Sons
Brothers, Richard & Thomas Willis established their jewellery business in Melbourne in 1858 as importers and wholesalers, at the height of the gold rush in Australia, many family jewellery businesses took advantage of the new found wealth. By 1868, R. & T. Willis were listed in the Melbourne directory as manufacturing jewellers as well as importers.
In 1904, Willis and Co. was incorporated as Willis and Sons Pty Ltd. and were to become the prime manufacturer of gold jewellery in Australia through the 1910s and 20s. By 1908, they had constructed new premises, manufacture and warehouse, at 350-356 Little Collins Street Melbourne.
The twentieth century marks of Willis and Sons Pty Ltd have been in use from 1904. By then their standard marks were a 'Unicorn' a numeral expressing the gold standard plus the capital 'W'. The 'Unicorn' was also used with the abbreviation 'STG.SIL' to mark silverware.
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