Often mislabeled as wedding bracelets, the bypass bracelet rose to popularity thanks to the Etruscan Revival period of the 1860s to 1880s.
When Italian archeologist Alessandro Francois discovered an ancient Etruscan tomb in Italy in 1857, he introduced the world to a wonderment of magnificent gold work the likes which had not been seen since the 4th century BCE.
Though not much is known about this ancient civilization, the treasures unearthed by Francois forever changed the world of jewelry.
Images of intricately wrought ancient golden jewelry with delicate filigree work and colorful gems captivated the imagination of Victorians and energized many nineteenth-century jewelers to create their own inspired pieces.
Skilled jewelry artisans began incorporating 2,000-year-old Etruscan techniques such as granulation, filigree and scrolled wire work and repoussé into their designs -- and with that, the Etruscan Revival period was born.
This pair of rolled gold bracelets have no real Etruscan style elements other than the bypass design itself and the tiniest bit of scrolled wire work, but they are still quite indicative of the era with their beautiful raised floral centerpieces with pops of red gold.
Each bracelet is marked with a patent date of Dec. 16, 1879.
Materials: Gold plated brass, red gold plate
Measurements: Inside: 2" x 1 3/4" Opening: 1 1/4"
Markings: PAT. DEC 16, 1879
Both bracelets are losing plating, particularly on the inside from wear. One bracelet is missing one of its decorative shields; the other is missing both of them. You can see the demarcation from where they used to be.
Cleaning and Care
Wipe gently with a damp cloth if needed. Do not immerse in any harsh chemicals as it could remove the plating.