Parisian splendour

Antique parure with colourless & green glass pastes in silver, Paris circa 1910

As early as 1734, Georges-Frédéric Stras had developed a particularly sparkling variant of lead glass in Paris, which quickly became widespread: the "rhinestone" still known today was born. As a substitute for real jewels, it was used for travel jewelry. But as time went by, glass pastes were considered jewels in their own right as early as the 18th century - for example, because they made it possible to produce particularly large colored stones and rich trimmings that would hardly have been possible any other way. The brilliant colours of the glass pastes were often intensified by closed settings and the backing with foil. In the last years of the 19th century, glass paste jewellery flourished once again, as society demanded white jewels: jewels that presented countless diamonds set in silver, often in combination with luminous, precious colored stones. However, the surface-covering setting with diamonds and coloured stones was correspondingly expensive: those who wanted to be at the forefront of this fashion without immediately investing large sums of money initially wore so-called glass pastes, with whose sparkle the white brilliance of the diamonds could be deceptively imitated. A whole parure of this kind is presented here. Consisting of a necklace, a bracelet and a pair of large earrings, its wearer was perfectly equipped for a ball evening, which no longer took place in candlelight, but in the glow of early electric light. Countless hand-cut colorless glass pastes flashed in the light like diamonds, while bright green pastes the color of emeralds added colorful focal points. Delicate bow ornaments, as well as blossoms and leaves, stylistically reveal the influence of the Rococo period, which was once again reviving in those years. As the hallmarks show, the parure was made in Paris, which even then was considered a centre of good taste and beautiful jewels. It has been preserved in its original box lined with velvet and silk.

We have encountered glass as an adornment of colourful shining jewellery since antiquity. But it was not until the 17th and 18th centuries that the joy of the sparkle of this material reached its peak. Jewellery with cut glass stones, called paste, was loved in the Baroque, Rococo and even later in Classicism and was by no means considered inferior. On the contrary, its radiance was revered, for which the pastes were also often foiled into the jewelry. For this purpose, a silver foil was placed behind the pastes to increase their sparkle.

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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.