Southern sun

Biedermeier citrine parure with diamonds in gold, around 1840

When citrines have a particularly intense, orange-brown colour, they are called Madeira citrines. The name refers to the colour of Madeira wine, the speciality of the Portuguese island: intensely blazing, sparkling and warmly glowing, the light of an endless summer evening seems to be enclosed in this gemstone. The parure here, a set of pendant with necklace, bracelet and earrings, sets 16 Madeira citrines in warmly gleaming gold. Small diamonds add further sparkle. The effect is as if gnarled branches were holding the gemstones in place, with only a small engraved blossom blooming here and there. Jewellery with naturalistic plant motifs, leaves, blossoms, but above all intertwined branches of yellow gold with warmly glowing coloured stones was the great fashion of the 1840s. The pieces of jewellery presented here were also created during this time in elaborate handwork. The branches, for example, are made individually from gold plates, so that each of the elements, which at first glance appear to be identical, is nevertheless different. The settings of the silver diamonds are also covered with gold plate on their backs, so that no staining can occur on the skin or clothing. All this, in addition to the design, suggests that it was made in the 19th century. All pieces of jewellery bear Portuguese hallmarks on their clasps and eyelets, more precisely: hallmarks of the Lisbon Assay Office of the years around 1990 for imported jewellery items. This shows that the set was restored in that period. The hinged hoops of the earrings now close securely again and even a pearl necklace can be threaded through the large, hinged eyelet of the pendant. A safety chain with spring clasp has also been added to the bracelet to prevent any accidental slipping of the band. Where exactly the jewellery once originated, we do not know; the shape of the design speaks for an origin in Central Europe, France is also conceivable. We have discovered it in Portugal. Apparently the warm glow of the Madeira citrines also appealed here, in the sunny south of our continent.

What a feast of colours! Jewellery from the first half of the 19th century, those years that became known as "Biedermeier", often blooms and glows in the richest hues of the rainbow. The basis is usually a warmly shining yellow gold, which shimmers particularly richly due to additional fine gilding. The gold forms frames and tendrils in floral shapes borrowed from nature, which are provided with coloured accents: Precious gemstones from home and the farthest lands are combined. Pearls and corals complement white and red dots of colour. And often colored enamels are added to complete the beautiful spectrum.

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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.