Said through the nose

Victorian necklace with turquoises & pearls in gold, around 1900

Our still common expression "saying something through the flower" has its origins in earlier centuries, when plants and especially flowers were laden with meaning. Shakespeare had Ophelia utter the famous words: "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance, pray you, love, remember. And there's pansies, that's for thoughts..." Then, in the 19th century, a veritable systematics of this floral language developed, finding expression in works such as Anna Burke's Illustrated Language of Flowers of 1856. Of course, this language was not only used in the form of ephemeral bouquets, but also in florally designed jewellery. The present necklace, for example, tells of loving thoughts and of true love. Its showpiece consists of stylized blossoms with attached fringes, which in turn end in small stylized petals. The elegant centrepiece is entirely set with small natural pearls and Persian turquoise. The turquoise, which because of its colour was equated with the forget-me-not, was to be understood quite literally in the language of gemstones, for the little blue plant was regarded as a sign of true love. Necklaces like these were also called "necklets" in their time. Around 1900 the demand for such necklaces, especially those set with pearls, had increased enormously. An advertisement of the London company Mappin & Webb from 1900 informs that due to the great demand for pearls the prices for such products had risen (see last picture). Our necklace also dates from these years, and after all this time it still shines as freshly as on the first day - and bears a message that is now still recognisable to the initiated.

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.