Collier de Chien

Splendid Necklace of Pearls & Diamonds, Around 1900 and Later

Collier de Chien", i.e. "dog collar", is the name given to multi-row necklaces that are worn close-fitting like a collar. Often these necklaces are made of pearls, which are held by precious clasps. Another name for this type of necklace is "choker". The fashion of the Colliers de Chien originated - like so much that was style-defining for the jewellery history - at the French court of the 18th century. However, it only experienced its heyday at the end of the 19th century. In Great Britain, it was above all Alexandra of Denmark, the wife of the Prince of Wales, who was to ascend the English throne shortly afterwards as Edward VII, who influenced this fashion. Today, the artistic creations of René Lalique, who had a passion for this rare type of jewellery and created quite a few Colliers de Chien, are highly sought after. This necklace is a Collier de Chien from the turn of the century around 1900. Four bars of gold and silver are richly set with diamonds and hold a total of ten rows of delicate pearls. Each of the bars is individually designed: The diamonds result in floral motifs that unfold in a variety of ways within a frame of diamonds. The hallmarks show that they were imported to France in earlier times, where we also discovered them. The pearls of the necklace have a slightly warm colour with a beautiful cream luster. The strands are staggered and the lengths are graduated so that the shortest strand measures 38.5 cm and the longest 2 cm more. These are light baroque cultured pearls in perfect condition. Apparently the pearls have been renewed once over the generations and then restrung.

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 longer dark, yellow candlelight, but the white glow of hundreds of lamps made the ladies' jewellery shine and glitter as never before. No wonder that as a result of these developments, a new fashion also emerged: white jewels made of diamonds and silver responded to the new lighting conditions and replaced the previous more colourful designs. In general, jewellery was increasingly richly set with sparkling gems to create an ever more luxurious and rich appearance. At the great balls in Paris, London and St. Petersburg, ever more magnificent diamond necklaces were presented, as well as tiaras, brooches and rings, all dreams in white diamonds. The name of the era, the Belle Époque, still indicates the goal of the period: To shine in beauty. But the fashion for white jewellery also remained current in the following decades, right up to the Art Déco of the 1920s. Only the materials of the settings changed. The rapidly tarnishing silver was first replaced by platinum settings and later by jewellery made entirely of platinum or the white gold developed shortly before the world war.

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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.