Casually entwined

Delicate negligé necklace with untreated sapphire & diamonds, circa 1915

The necklace here is as precious as it is light, while being playful and downright casually designed. We see a loosely tied loop of platinum and diamonds. A large gemstone is pendulously attached to each end of the ribbon. The blue sapphire, an untreated stone in a rare checkerboard cut, weighs about 1.80 cts. A drop-cut diamond of around 1.60 ct is mounted next to it. It sparkles in warm white and complements the light of the sapphire to create an almost maritime two-tone effect. Necklaces like this one were a big fashion at the beginning of the 20th century. They are known as negligé necklaces or lavallière. The origin of the latter name is a matter of disagreement in jewelry history: Either it comes from the actress Ève Lavallière, who loved to wear such necklaces, or it derives from the Duchess Louise de La Vallière, who liked to tie men's neckties into bows with ends of unequal length. The term negligé necklace, on the other hand, alludes to the casual elegance of such an asymmetrical piece of jewellery, as it derives from the French word for "careless". Here, platinum has been chosen as the material for the elegant design and combined with precious stones. We have had independent appraisals done on the materials of the necklace, which come with the piece. Through expert restorations in recent years, the necklace continues to be a wonderful companion today, some 100 years after its creation.

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.

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.


OUR PROMISE

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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