Lot 1 (Jewellery, 30th June 2020)
A pair of amethyst earclips, by Tiffany & Co., circa 1945
Each circular palladium plaque of radiating design, centrally prong set with a cut-cornered step-cut amethyst, above two brilliant-cut diamonds, clip fittings, signed Tiffany & Co., length 2.3cm, cased
Palladium, part of the platinum group of metals, was discovered in 1803 by the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston. He named palladium after a recently discovered asteroid called Pallas, named in honour of the Greek goddess of wisdom, Pallas Athena.
During the war effort in the 1940s, platinum became a strategic metal and its use in jewellery was restricted. Therefore the use of palladium, a great replacement for platinum, increased tremendously for the decorative arts. According to the manufacturing records from Tiffany & Co., palladium first appeared on the 2nd of July 1942 and was used by the firm until the 1950s.
Sold for £1,250