The dominant colours in Italian traditional jewellery are red and gold. Coral was the most popular material for necklaces, but garnets were also sometimes used, as here. Most Italian traditional necklaces are made of beads, in designs which have been worn for centuries.
In the 19th century Italian women usually used silk ribbons to fasten their necklaces and pendants, but these ribbons were fragile and easily destroyed. Only a trace of the purple ribbons which once fastened this necklace now remains.
This necklace was bought for £4 as part of the Castellani collection of Italian Peasant Jewellery at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.
Necklace of garnet beads with silver terminals, Parma (Italy), 1800-1867.
Necklace of ten graduated strings of uncut or roughly faceted garnets, with a flat pierced silver terminal at each end. Traces of a purple ribbon attached to each terminal. Thread broken.