Large spinel, diamond & natural pearl pendant of the Belle Époque, circa 1890
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. Naturally, the new creations also feature selected coloured stones, such as the large, first-class pink spinel in the pendant shown here, which makes us think of richly blossoming roses. The stone, cut into a cushion shape, shines intensely in its delicate gold setting. Delicate bars, so-called knife-wire bars, hold it in place in the center of a broad framing of diamond leaves, richly set with pearls. It is this new style, so characteristic of the Belle Époque, that we see here: White in light, high quality in fittings and perfectly finished, this is how this pendant presents itself, preserved with a delicate, elegantly chosen silver chain. For, in fact, the face of the pendant is also made of silver. Platinum or white gold were not yet available in the years around 1890. To create white jewels, therefore, silver was used, always on a substructure of gold, as here. In this way, one could create the bright, elegant impression one was looking for, and at the same time prevent anything from rubbing off on skin or clothing. The pendant has been tested by an independent laboratory in Idar Oberstein for its material properties and value. The certificate shown here is of course included with the pendant.
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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.
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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.