Royal vibes

Antique natural pearls sautoir with topazes of the Belle Époque, around 1905

The fashion of the years around 1900 loved pastel colors not only in the wardrobe. Coloured stones in delicate shades such as amethysts, topazes and peridots were also more in demand than ever and enriched the appearance of ladies. Pearl necklaces also went well with this delight in restrained hues, preferably in the form of long, elegantly moving sautoirs or short colliers-de-chien worn close to the neck. Here is such a typical natural pearl sautoir of the years shortly after 1900, rich in its decoration and perfect in its preservation. Approximately 1500 natural pearls, so-called oriental pearls, are gathered into three short strands each and connect twenty gold-framed faceted precious topazes in a delicate rose tone with a weight of about 31 carats. The result is a necklace about 1.10 meters long, which is worn loosely, single or double, but can also be knotted in front of the chest. We enclose a photograph of Queen Alexandra, taken in 1901, wearing a long, richly decorated pearl necklace whose strands are held together at regular intervals by round gemstone elements. Although our piece of jewellery is much more delicately designed, it is comparable in its design and gives an indication that this sautoir was also made in the years shortly after 1900. By the way, wonderful topazes of the same hue as here in our piece of jewellery can actually also be found in a royal jewellery box: As a reminder of her mother's South American homeland (her father, as is well known, came from Heidelberg), Queen Silvia of Sweden particularly likes to wear a parure with Brazilian precious topazes that once belonged to the French Empress Joséphine. We were immediately enchanted by the elegant sautoir with its delicate beauty. In addition, we have had a detailed certificate made for the piece of jewellery, which confirms the quality of the natural saltwater pearls used here and that of the precious topazes. It is also delivered in the box shown here.

Two chain shapes dominated European fashion in the years around 1900 until the outbreak of the First World War. On the one hand, the "Collier de Chien" or "Choker", i.e. a wide chain that fits very tightly around the neck and which, in the case of a large décolleté, elongates the lady's proportions even further. And on the other side the "Sautoir", a particularly long, freely moving chain, which underlines the grace and elegance of its wearer. All forms between these extremes were considered less than chic. The woman of the world, whether in Paris, London or Vienna, had to own a choker and a sautoir, because both chain forms were usually worn at the same time until fashion changed again in the 1920s.

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.


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.