Négligé

Antique Négligé Necklace with Diamonds in Gold & Platinum, circa 1905

Many jewellery ideas and designs that are at home all over the world today originated in France, have French names and have retained their typically French flair to this day. This diamond necklace in gold and platinum is one such piece: it is a so-called négligé necklace. It is no coincidence that the necklace is called exactly the same as the more famous piece of women's underwear. Négligé means "untidy" in French. So both take their name from their shape. The morning dress is light and sensual, the necklace features two pendulums of different lengths that are equally beguiling and make one think that the goldsmith wasn't quite paying attention here and had his mind elsewhere. As a necklace, the négligé was particularly popular in the years around 1900. At that time, people loved to interpret pieces of jewellery symbolically. In the two pendulums of different lengths, two lovers were recognized who were connected and yet at the same time free to maintain a relationship of closeness and distance. Our example here sets fine diamonds in old cuts in the pendulums and the bridge connecting them. Nine rose-cut diamonds and two old-cut diamonds are used. It is made of yellow gold, but the platinum front gives it an elegant white appearance. This is a typical technique of the early 20th century, when platinum was as expensive as it was complicated to work with, and people therefore liked to make the basic structure of the jewellery out of gold: this also has the advantage that the jewellery retains a certain warmth, which matches the skin tone beautifully. An original silver chain, which can be worn in two lengths, completes the beautiful necklace. The piece of jewellery, created in the early years shortly after 1900, is very well preserved and found its way to us from Hamburg.

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. This necklace is a wonderful example of this fashion, which remained current into the early 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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