Baroque splendour

Splendid gold bangle with garnet, pearls & diamonds, circa 1850

Austerity and softness, restraint and exuberance, coolness and warmth alternate, as they do everywhere, in jewellery fashion. The lavish splendour of the Ancien Régime of the late 18th century, for example, was followed by Classicism with its austere, calm forms that were perceived as modern. Often, Neoclassical jewels did without precious gems altogether, elevating instead glass, sepia paintings, hair, and even iron to ornamental materials. But this episode in turn came to an end from the 1820s onwards: there was a renewed yearning for full-bodied volumes, historical ornaments, colourful gemstones and strong yellow gold. In the middle of the century, this splendid taste reached its peak for the time being. The present arm ornament bears eloquent witness to this. It was made around 1850 and combines all the above-mentioned stylistic features. Designed as a broad, centrally swinging hoop, it is openworked and thus does not appear too heavy despite its presence. Engraved volutes borrowed from the Baroque and vegetal-looking tendrils and blossoms run around the entire hoop. At the center of the design is a large almandine garnet in an unusual rectangular cabochon cut. It is framed by pearls, with the corners further accented by fleur-de-lis ornaments of silver set with diamonds. Once the hoop was even more colorful than it is today: remnants of enamel in shades of red and green show this. Only rarely has the enamelling survived on bangles of the period, as the bangle is particularly exposed to external influences due to its delicate position on the wrist. Today, the incompleteness of the enamelling evokes an effect similar to the use of baroque ornaments: it appears as a nostalgic reference to a bygone era. The bracelet is beautifully preserved and eminently wearable. We were able to discover it in Spain.

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.


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.