Rijksmuseum acquires antique goldstone necklace from Dekker Antiquairs
Earlier this year the Rijksmuseum acquired from us a remarkable Dutch ‘bootjes’ necklace (‘small boats’, refers to the shape of the elements). Such necklaces are usually set with granates, but this example is set with goldstones. Since this summer, the necklace is on display in the jewellery department of the Special Collections of the Rijksmuseum.
The necklace – one of the oldest known examples – was made in either 1701 or 1722 in the Dutch city of Dordrecht; the precise year is still under research. The model is typical for the provinces Groningen, Frisia and Holland, but the use of faceted goldstone makes it extra rare.
Goldstone is not a gemstone, but glass with copper elements produced on the Venetian island Murano ever since the second half of the 16th century. The glassmakers called goldstone ‘avventurina’, because producing the material was more a process of adventure than of science. It is known that in one year a glassmaker had to dispose of 40 failed batches.
Usually imitations are named after their natural variants, for aventurine it is the other way around: goldstone, also named aventurine glass, existed well before the discovery of aventurine.
The gold necklace (36 cm, 21 gr) with faceted goldstones consists of 13 links with filigrain and a clasp. It has three very clear hallmarks: the city hallmark for Dordrecht, the year letter K (1701 or 1722) and a maker’s mark. Unfortunately, the plates with the hallmarks of Dordrecht are lost, in many cases it is virtually impossible to identify the maker of a Dordrecht piece of jewellery.
Dekker and the 'Rijks'
Previously, the Rijksmuseum acquired from us a silver vase made in 1895 by Philippe Wolfers of Wolfers & Frères, and a gold and sapphire medal of honour made in Sri Lanka in 1762. The medal is an important object relating to the Dutch East India Company and revealed an unknown episode in its history.
The necklace is on show in room 0.9-Z8.03 in the Special Collections of the Rijksmuseum.
View the necklace on the website of the Rijksmuseum: click here.