French finesse

Charming antique platinum brooch set with diamonds, France circa 1915

The enchanting finesse of the brooch presented here immediately won us over when we first saw the piece of jewellery. The finest bows and laurel vines are scattered in a no-frills, modern-looking frame. Only the finest bars connect the individual elements (and yet they are stable). The goldsmith has meticulously set the fine detail of the leaves and ribbons with diamonds and decorated them with delicately sparkling mille handles. The brooch is made entirely of platinum, making it an early example of such jewelry. Only with platinum was it possible to create the delicate bars and shapes and still create a stable and wearable piece of jewellery. Only a generation earlier, platinum was not yet technically feasible to actually work with. Only a few precious examples have survived, for example from Cartier. But even at the time of its creation, platinum jewellery remained a special treasure. All this, the fine workmanship, the beautiful design and not least the material value of the brooch may have been the reasons why the fine work, which was probably originally the centrepiece of a necklace of pearls, was converted into a brooch in the years between the wars. On the sides we can still see the holes where originally six strands of pearls were knotted. But such colliers de chiens, worn close to the neck, were completely out of fashion after the war. As a brooch, however, the work could still be worn with pleasure - not unlike today. A historical hallmark on the side shows that the brooch was made in France. The hallmark was only used in this form in the years between 1912 and 1926. Shape and workmanship show the origin around 1915.

The years shortly after 1900 brought a formal language into the world of jewellery with the so-called "Garland Style", which countered Art Nouveau with a more classical, finer stylistic conception. 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 was a crystalline, cool and particularly elegant impression: these special jewels in white radiate an unearthly, seductive glow, a little worldly and thus particularly luxurious. With the advent of modernism, the designs became more abstract and dynamic, and the Art Deco world of forms prevailed.

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.

Play