Gallant garlands

Antique pendant with diamonds & pearl in platinum, around 1910

The history of styles and tastes is not a linear sequence - rather, different fashions have always existed simultaneously, sometimes complementing each other, sometimes sharply contrasting. At the beginning of the 20th century, for example, not only Art Nouveau with its dynamic, curved lines was fashionable. At the same time, wonderful pieces of jewellery were also being created in the so-called "Garland Style", a formal language that contrasted Art Nouveau with a more classical, refined style. Allusions to Louis XVI forms and fine motifs from classical antiquity enlivened a neoclassicism that valued small, delicate laurel tendrils just as much as meticulous festoons and ornaments with tiny mille griffons. Jewellery in this style was executed by goldsmiths in Paris, London and Vienna in precious materials, richly set with diamonds, set in silver or platinum. The result is a crystalline, cool and particularly elegant look: these special jewels in white radiate an unearthly seduction, a little worldly and thus particularly luxurious. The pendant here is a fine example of this fashion. Set in a round frame is an arrangement of diamond-studded, sparkling loorbeer vines and a large natural pearl. The outer frame bends inward at the top, and here a sparkling old-cut diamond holds the starting point for the two garlands and the pendulum-attached pearl. Another old-cut diamond at the bottom of the outer frame emphasizes the central axis and gives direction to the arrangement. All parts of the pendant are covered with platinum on the show side, creating a triad of white, of pearl, diamonds and platinum. It was precisely this interplay that excited us, with its subtle gradation of colours and surfaces, which makes the jewel so rich and interesting in detail. The fact that it nevertheless retains its lightness is the great quality of the design. A platinum eyelet turns the piece into a pendant. It was probably added to the piece of jewellery or renewed at a later date. With the modern chain the piece of jewellery can be worn carefree.

In the years shortly before 1890 there was a true revolution in the field of jewellery. The excess of historicism in form and colour appeared to be no longer in keeping with the times throughout Europe. Increasing mechanization, also in jewelry making, had repeated the same forms over and over again until they had finally become interchangeable and arbitrary. The jewellers feared for their existence: jewellery sales were declining rapidly, a new fashion was not in sight! At the beginning of the new decade the crisis was overcome. White jewels were the solution, and they quickly caught on. Instead of many poorly combinable pieces of jewellery, ladies now concentrated on a few, but all the more high-quality objects. They were united by their common colour: white diamonds and pearls shone in settings of silver, later platinum and white gold. The designs are filigree and completely restrained in their formal language. Leaves, tendrils and light geometric shapes suddenly dominated the picture, which until just now had been populated by putti in large numbers. The piece of jewellery presented here is a piece of this new fashion, which remained current into the first years of Art Deco.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

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.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


OUR PROMISE

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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