Superb Antique Australian 15ct Yellow Gold Celestial Starburst Pearl Necklace Circa 1905

Early Australian pieces such as this seldom enter the market let alone hallmarked for two of our iconic early jewellers, Willis and Sons and Duggin, Shappere and Co.

Crafted from 15ct yellow gold around the turn of the last century (circa 1900) and modelled as a celestial starburst brooch/pendant skillfully suspended from a hinged section behind the ‘star and moon’ motif that continues to a 15ct yellow gold necklace featuring a half moon and star motif to with Pearl set segments and floral motifs.

A sturdy trace chain supports all of the above and is secured with a push-in barrel clasp.  (See video for further explanation). 

The Celestial starburst is hallmarked beautifully for Willis and Sons and the Pearl set necklace for Duggin, Shappere and Co.

Quite extraordinary to imagine this piece was likely purchased and cleverly put together by the original purchaser over 110 years ago!  A true collector/heirloom piece that will only continue to increase in value and significance.

Natural Half Seed Pearls
Starburst 2.8cm diameter
Drop from ‘Crescent Moon’ segment - 4cm
End to end - Neck circumference 38cm
16.63 Grams
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.

History of Duggin, Shappere and Co.

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.

Purchase Summary

Laybys available on all items $400 and over. Contact us for more details.

All our items are antique or vintage unless otherwise stated. Condition will be described, it is the responsibility of the buyer to read descriptions and view photos.  Please refer to our guide Caring For Antique & Vintage Jewellery for more details. 

Prior to purchase, please view our Purchase Guide & Return Policy. All purchases within Australia will be sent via express post as a complimentary service.  International rates apply.  Please view our Shipping & Delivery Policy for more details

Please note: Any duties imposed by countries for importing our items are the buyers responsibility       

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