The most beautiful rose of the Belle Époque
Magnificent diamond necklace in gold and silver, Germany, around 1880
"A rose is a rose is a rose..." – The famous line from Gertrude Stein's Sacred Emily reminds us time and time again of the various meanings associated with the rose, and of the way we rarely see a thing just for itself. The rose has long been a symbol of affection and romantic love, but in Christian iconography, it is also the symbol of the Virgin Mary. The rose is England's national flower, but in Persian and Arabic literature, for instance, it is also symbolic of the beauty of creation, a manifestation of the divine. An especially beautiful likeness of a rose is the focal point of this necklace. The large, full blossom, all its petals as well as the surrounding leaves are lavishly - and fittingly - set with rose-cut diamonds. An especially large rose-cut diamond marks the centre of the flower. The suspended leaf below the rose adds movement to this floral design, which really comes alive when being worn. The rose-cut diamonds showcase the particular lustre associated with this historic cut, which was once designed to bring out diamonds in the candle-lit ballrooms of centuries past, when electricity was not yet available. Typical of the era, the pendant is worked in silver on gold, so as not to taint the diamonds' colour. In fact, the natural patina of the silver serves to bring out the diamonds even more effectively. The chain as well as the back of the pendant are made of in rose gold, however, so that there is no risk of staining one's skin or clothing with the silver's patina. This piece is a beautiful example of the late 19th century taste for naturalistic, floral designs. Dating to the years around 1880, this piece is sure to have seen its share of balls and soirées back in the day, as diamond jewellery was then confined to evening wear. It is perfectly preserved and wearable. For further reading and comparison, please see David Bennett/Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, London 2010, p. 173.
With the invention of gaslight and then electric light at the end of the 19th century, glistening brightness suddenly filled the ballrooms of Europe. No more dark, yellow candlelight, but the white glow of hundreds of lamps made the ladies' jewellery shine and glitter as never before. Not surprisingly, a new fashion also emerged in the wake of these developments: white jewels made of diamonds and silver responded to the new lighting conditions, replacing the previous more colorful designs; in general, jewelry was increasingly richly set with sparkling gemstones to create an ever more luxurious and rich appearance. The name of the era, the Belle Époque, still indicates the goal of the period: To shine in beauty.
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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.