Sunday, November 22, 2015

Reproduction Jane Austen crosses

One of the holy grails of Georgian Jewelry has always been the Topaz cross pendants owned by Jane Austen and her sister Cassandra.  They were given these as gifts in 1801 by their brother, and they have an exciting story behind them!

[Charles] has received 30 pounds for his share of the privateer & expects 10 pounds more–but of what avail is it to take prizes if he lays out the produce in presents to his Sisters.  He has been buying Gold chains & Topaze Crosses for us;–he must be well scolded.” 

Letter from Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra, May 27, 1801

Charles was in the Royal Navy, and he received the money for his part in the capture of an enemy ship! Jane and Cassandra were lucky enough to receive this beautiful crosses with part of his share. 

Jane and Cassandra Austen's Topaz Crosses
We know from Cassandra's letter that they were meant to be worn on gold chains, which is the reason for the loops at the top.  Jane's is on the left- the one with the oval-shaped stones. 

From the moment I started reproducing my Georgian Paste jewelry, people were asking for a reproduction of Jane's cross.  After being disappointed with the selection of commerically-available settings, I was able to find someone to reproduce settings for me based on my exact specifications, and I'm so pleased with the results.  

The thing I'm most pleased with is the tiny little balls on the ends of the arms, which is such a beautiful design feature on the original pieces.  You can see them better in this close-up image:

These are currently available in Brown and Orange Topaz paste stones in my Etsy shop, however I am working on sourcing some actual Topaz gems to make even closer reproductions.  For now, you can buy your very own reproduction Jane Austen cross from Dames a la Mode.