Tremble like a Flower...
Antique diamond brooch with "en tremblant" flower, circa 1880
"En tremblant" is French and means "trembling". This term refers to a special form of jewellery technique in which individual parts of a larger piece of jewellery, usually flowers or leaves of a brooch, are supported on small feathers. This technique was developed in the early 19th century. These pieces of jewellery vibrate, tremble slightly and continuously due to their spring-loaded mounting - the result is a spectacular play with light, a true sparkle of precious stones and precious metals. The piece of jewellery here uses this technique to create a very special sight. We see a large flower branch sparkling all over in the light of 3.10 ct diamonds. The large blossom is mounted "en tremblant", i.e. it trembles and vibrates with every movement of its wearer and the diamonds gain brilliance with every new incidence of light. The spring suspension of the blossoms also supports the closeness to nature and the realism of the design. The brooch is made of silver on the front and gold on the back so that it does not stain clothing. According to its workmanship and the typical naturalism of its form, it was made around 1880. We discovered it in Great Britain; it is in first-class condition. On the dating and shape, see David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, pp. 204-208 and p. 238 respectively.
With the invention of gaslight and then electric light at the end of the 19th century, glistening brightness suddenly filled the ballrooms of Europe. No more dark, yellow candlelight, but the white glow of hundreds of lamps made the ladies' jewellery shine and glitter as never before. It is no wonder that a new fashion emerged as a result of these developments: white jewels made of diamonds and silver responded to the new lighting conditions and replaced the previous more colourful designs. In general, jewellery was increasingly richly set with sparkling gems to create an ever more luxurious and rich appearance. At the great balls in Paris, London and St. Petersburg, ever more magnificent diamond necklaces were presented, as well as tiaras, brooches and rings, all dreams in white diamonds. The name of the era, the Belle Époque, still indicates the goal of the period: To shine in beauty. But the fashion for white jewellery also remained current in the following decades, right up to the Art Déco of the 1920s. Only the materials of the settings changed. The rapidly tarnishing silver was first replaced by platinum settings and later by jewellery made entirely of platinum or white gold, which was developed shortly after the World War.
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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.