JEWELRY AND ORNAMENTS
IN many inventories of well-to-do New Yorkers, one or two jewels are mentioned. Nearly everybody owned a gold or silver watch. A chain of pearls and a few diamond rings were not uncommon possessions. We even find Captain Smith ( 1709) with an " instrument to try pearls," which certainly looks as if he tested them before he bought or sold them. Captain Giles Shelly ( 1718) owned much jewelry and a mother-of-pearl box. He had a pearl necklace, a gold chain and pendants, eight gold beads, one amber and three red bead necklaces, a parcel of stones and beads, a piece of coral, a string of pearls, six gold pins with pearl heads, two India gold chains, six gold rings, two silver rings, twelve gold rings with stones, one agate seal, and part of a collar.
A few advertisements of different dates will give an idea not only of the kind of gems that people were wearing in these days, but how they were actually set. In 1734, somebody had " Lately lost a gold girdle buckle set around with small diamonds." The following is very explicit :
( Nov. 27, 1749.) " Lost on Thursday evening last at or going from the house of Mr. Ramsey, an earring the upper part whereof is in shape of a knot, set with small diamonds, and the lower part a drop with a diamond in the middle and some diamond sparks round. Two pistoles reward."
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Publication information: Book title: Social New York under the Georges, 1714-1776:Houses, Streets, and Country Homes, with Chapters on Fashions, Furniture, China, Plate, and Manners. Contributors: Esther Singleton - Author. Publisher: D. Appleton. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1902. Page number: 250.
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