Paris, City of Light

Unusual Art Deco clip with 4.09 ct diamonds in platinum and white gold, circa 1935

Paris shines. The fact that the capital of France is also known throughout the world as the "City of Light" is due to two circumstances. Firstly, Paris was the centre of the European Enlightenment in the 18th century, the intellectual movement known in France as the "Siècle des Lumières" and in the English-speaking world as the "Age of Enlightenment". Above all, Paris was the first metropolis to be comprehensively illuminated by gaslight. It turned night into day on the boulevards and, not least, gave art and literature a whole new impetus. Since the 1860s, 56,000 gas lanterns have illuminated the city, which now shone like never before. It may be a coincidence now, but the jewellery of the great Parisian goldsmiths' houses also seems to have responded to this delight in light. Long into the 20th century, jewellery from France was still strongly distinguished from that of other centres by its rich use of sparkling, luminous gems. For when we think of Cartier and Chaumet and Boucheron, creations made of ever-glowing diamonds come to mind: the city of light virtually demanded sparkling jewels. And such a Parisian diamond jewel we see here in the form of a brooch from the years around 1935. One of the most beautiful and typical pieces of Art Deco jewellery are the so-called "clips". The special thing about this new type of brooch was that it could no longer be worn only on the lapel, but everywhere on the dress, on the belt, on the bag and even in the hair or on the hat. This allowed surprising accents to be set that had not been fashionably possible before. At the time of their introduction, the shape of the clips was initially quite flat, the surfaces richly set with diamonds. In the course of the 1930s, increasingly voluminous shapes came into fashion. One innovation before the upheaval of the Great War was to redesign the rear mount. Whereas previously there had been a single large plate with a spring mechanism, now two interconnected pins were used. Armed with all this knowledge, it is easy to date the clip here: It glows white like ice, cool and elegant. At the same time, the shape of the clip plate also reveals that the brooch must have been created in the years around 1935. The design is dynamically composed of geometric shapes, with a large diamond in a kite-shaped cut forming the focal point of the showpiece. 84 other diamonds of very different cuts adorn the entire face of the jewel. Shadow gaps and deliberately placed openings play with the incident light. The clip is made of platinum with a pin of 18-karat white gold and the diamonds total approximately 4.09 ct. The clip found its way to us from the west of Germany, according to the hallmarks it was made in Paris. It comes with a detailed appraisal from the German Society for Gemstone Appraisal Idar-Oberstein. For the history of the clip, see David Bennett/Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, pp. 322-325, with numerous illustrations.

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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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