This is the Iron Duchess, a necklace made from *white metal, freshwater pearls, a couple of vintage brooches and five iron nails found on the Thames foreshore. It’s designed to be worn high on the throat, and to be both demure and a little bit savage.
It’s not threading the pearls, working the *white metal or even sourcing the vintage jewellery which takes the time on this necklace, it’s finding nails from the Thames of exactly the right size and shape. Because they’re iron, they rust. That’s what gives them their roughness and their beauty, but it also means that a lot of them simply break when the rust comes off. Prices between £350 and £450.
*Because a lot of my jewellery incorporates vintage pieces as well as precious metal, it cannot be hallmarked in the normal way. If there are several metals in a single piece and thus any potential for misidentification of those metals then even if parts of that piece are made from silver, gold or platinum, it can only be stamped with a maker’s mark, not a full hallmark. So the chain on this necklace looks like silver, works like silver, was described by the wholesalers as sterling silver and is priced as silver, but must legally be described as *white metal.