Jeweled and Enameled Gold Cross Necklace, from Georgia, Late 17th Century
Made with rubies, sapphires, enamel, pearls and gold. This once belonged to Princess Sophia (Sopio) Nakashidze, née Dadiani (b. circa 1861).
Artists in Georgia were among the first in the ancient world to process metals. Among the archaeological finds of the Trialeti and Bedeni mounds of southern Georgia are fine gold pins, elaborately chased, dating from the second half of the 3rd millennium BC; enamel was used in the production of Georgian jewelery by the 5th century BC.
The country’s geographical position between Turkey, Persia and the Silk Road to the south and the important commercial center of Moscow to the north resulted in foreign influences, including Indian motifs and techniques, appearing frequently in Georgian jewelery throughout the centuries; objects produced before Georgia’s incorporation into the Russian Empire in 1801 bear more markedly Eastern characteristics which, combined with the country’s rich tradition of metalwork, make Georgian jewelery distinctive.