A silent happiness

Enchanting duet of bangle & brooch in garnet, pearls & painting, around 1850

An extraordinary jewelry duet is presented here: It is a brooch and a bracelet, richly set with pearls and garnets, which set two enamel paintings. On the brooch we see a brunette lady. She is wearing a colorful, rural-looking robe. The bangle shows a blonde lady with the typical corkscrew curls of the Biedermeier period. I wonder if her little dog is supposed to mark her as a faithful soul. Once the dog was considered a symbol of loyalty. What we see here are so-called "Geneva enamels". These paintings from Switzerland were real export hits in the first decades of the 19th century, only to disappear almost completely shortly thereafter. They show either representations of the Swiss landscape or portraits like the ones here. Yet the ladies are portraits of real people only in exceptional cases. Their pictures should rather be understood as universal portraits symbolizing virtues and character traits. Thus, by looking at the bracelet and brooch, we enter the epoch of late Biedermeier, the time of family, friendships and domestic happiness. It is the time when Adalbert Stifter has the two sisters Klarissa and Johanna flee from the world in a hut in the "Hochwald" to preserve their innocence - and Franz Schubert sets songs like "Die schöne Müllerin" to music. In our set of bracelet and brooch, this world lives on. Once it was probably a pair of bracelets; the showpiece of one was still reworked into a brooch in ancient times. Jewelry with enamel from Switzerland like this one has been discussed time and again in the literature on jewelry history. Some particularly fine examples can be found in David Bennet & Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 120 and p. 126; see also Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe: Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria, London 2010, p. 492.

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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.