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Heinrich Levinger Jugendstil Antique Art Nouveau .900 Silver Necklace Green Stones and Hematites

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This elegant, simple, and delicate Art Nouveau necklace bears the “HL” maker’s mark of the Heinrich Levinger jewelry firm of Pforzheim, Germany. Heinrich Levinger was established as a Pforzheim jewelry retailer by 1881, and had a factory producing silver and gold jewelry by 1893. The business apparently ceased operations upon his death in 1899; his son Emil Levinger re-established the Heinrich Levinger Company to manufacture jewelry under the “HL” mark in 1901. Two years later designer Karl Bissinger joined the firm, which was renamed Levinger & Bissinger in 1904. The company continued using “HL” marks and only rarely employed an “LB” mark. Bissinger subsequently left, and the company once again took the Heinrich Levinger name by 1909 under Emil Berthold Levinger (apparently not the same individual as the earlier Emil Levinger; perhaps his son). The company was a prolific producer of high quality plique-à-jour jewelry, with transparent panels of colored enamel suspended in metal frameworks, in the jugendstil or art nouveau style. The piece offered for sale here does not use the plique-à-jour technique for which the company became known. Research for this description did not determine which incarnation of the Levinger firm produced the necklace. While the style is art nouveau, it appears more reserved and may be somewhat older than the brighter and bolder plique-à-jour designs. The presence of an apparently original spring-ring clasp can only provide an earliest possible date of around 1900. It could have been made before the death of Heinrich Levinger, but this remains in the realm of speculation.

The necklace consists of a very fine (about 0.9 mm) silver cable chain, about 40 cm (16 inches) long. A central pendant is attached to the chain at two points. This central piece is in the form of two interlocked circles set with tiny facetted hematites (each circle approx. 10 mm in diameter; overall double circle piece approx. 16 mm wide [0.4 by 0.6 inch]). Hanging from each circle is a three-piece pendant consisting of a flattened silver bar linking the circle to a stylized silver flower set with additional tiny facetted hematites; suspended from each of these flowers is a small green facetted stone, set in an open-backed beaded silver bezel. These stones could be green garnets, peridots, or perhaps just paste. They measure about 4.8 by 6 mm, with the right stone (when facing the necklace) very slightly smaller than the left. The right pendant assembly is intentionally shorter (35 mm, or 1.36 inch) than the right (38 mm, or 1.5 inch), due to the use of a shorter bar piece, giving the stones a vertical offset.

Stamped marks are as follows: an interlocked “HL” within an oval, and a “900” are on the back of the flower piece of the left pendant; a double mark resembling a vertically aligned “LL” is on the bar piece of the right pendant, with some fine lines, resulting from scars on the anvil, present on the reverse of the bar.

Condition of this beautiful piece is quite good. Its only issues are: 3 of the 36 tiny facetted hematites in the double-circle central pendant are missing and 3 are damaged; and 3 of the 16 tiny hematites in the flower pieces of the secondary pendants are missing. These flaws are hard to detect without magnification. This necklace has not been polished and retains its original patina.

Reference for Henry Levinger Company history: Falk, Fritz, 2008. Art Nouveau Jewellery from Pforzheim. Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart.

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Heinrich Levinger Jugendstil Antique Art Nouveau .900 Silver Necklace Green Stones and Hematites

Overview

  • Vintage item from 1900 - 1909
  • Materials: 900 silver, green faceted stones, hematites
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 266 reviews
  • Favorited by: 28 people