For shining hours

Splendid rococo devant-de-corsage with garnet & marcasite, circa 1770

In earlier eras, the lady's jewelry was not limited to the finger, the décolleté and the ear alone. Numerous other pieces of jewellery, now forgotten or rarely used, also populated the rest of the elegant lady's body and bathed her in complete splendour. An example of such jewellery, now forgotten, is the devant-de-corsage. This piece of jewellery, which was quite typical of the Rococo period, was sewn onto the front of the dress below the bust and here emphasised the lady's waist. In the late 19th century this kind of jewellery experienced a renaissance. Now, however, the devant-de-corsage was understood as a brooch and worn a little higher on the body, namely pinned to the bustline of the then modern, expansive dresses. The devant-de-corsage presented here is made of silver and richly set with marcasites and garnets. The first-class preserved piece of jewellery of the late 18th century therefore shines mysteriously dark. The design is developed from a large double loop, which is wrapped around a large garnet. In the middle of the loop follows a succession of flowers and rectangles; on the sides of the loop, bands of wider and narrower bars frame the middle row. United at the bottom, all the lines lead to a prime large teardrop-shaped garnet. The use of marcasites, or cut iron pyrite, was initially quite a common technique in the 18th century, along with cut steel and glass pastes, to imitate precious gemstones in less expensive materials. In the course of time, however, people acquired a taste for the cool brilliance of marcasite, which was valued as evening jewellery in its own right. Fine examples of such jewellery can be found in Ginny Reddington Dawes / Olivia Collings: Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830, Woodbridge 2007, p. 105. Our Devant-de-Corsage is an impressive, large piece of jewellery. It still shows the two eyelets on its back where it was originally sewn onto the dress - for rococo jewellery was always sewn firmly onto the dress and then detached again after the occasion to be attached to another dress for the next party. In the course of the 19th century, however, one of the previous owners got tired of this procedure and had a brooch attached to the back, so that you can now wear the piece like a brooch. We were able to acquire the brooch from an estate in France, where the piece was imported in earlier times, according to the hallmark. Now it is waiting for you in Berlin - and for its next opportunity to shine again, as it did in Marie Antoinette's time.

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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.


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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.

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