Franconian splendid

Large antique cross pendant of the Ochsenfurt costume, around 1870

The region of Ochsenfurt in Lower Franconia is one of the richest traditional costume landscapes in Germany. To this day, the tradition is kept alive in numerous associations. In addition to elaborate clothing, numerous pieces of jewellery are also part of the complete festive outfit, which testifies to the prosperity of the fertile region. Among the characteristic pieces of jewellery of the so-called Gautracht are elaborately crafted, multi-piece neck gaiters. They always develop from a cross pendant with small suspensions, to which an oval ornamental piece in the manner of a brooch is presented. Crossed silver chains accompany the embossed ornamental elements. Small suspensions, the so-called bells, further enrich the design. Precious traditional costume necklaces for the Ochsenfurt costume were often a gift from the bridegroom to his bride and often cost 60 to 100 gold marks in the late 19th century. The present cross pendant belonged to such a necklace. The cross shows a trimming of garnets and a small natural pearl in the middle. In its symbolic meaning, the blood-red colour of the garnets refers to the blood of Christ, the white of the pearl to the purity of the Saviour. The baroque formal language is still very much in the tradition of Biedermeier foam goldwork. The pendant from the 1870s is beautifully preserved. Comparable pieces can be found in Gislind Ritz: Alter bäuerlicher Schmuck, Munich 1978, p. 103ff.

After the abolition of the rigorous dress codes, which had forbidden the wearing of colourful clothes and metal jewellery by the rural population since the Middle Ages, more and more colourful and varied forms of jewellery were able to develop from the end of the 18th century onwards. Particularly regionally this was expressed in an abundance of traditional costumes, which determine since then the picture of festively dressed humans particularly in Upper Bavaria and Swabia in addition, other regions. For women, these include pile clasps and choker necklaces, bodice cords with pendants and sumptuously decorated lacing pins, earrings and finger rings, bonnet pins and hair arrows, and for men finger rings, watch chains with a variety of pendants and silver coin buttons.

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You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

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We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.

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