Glittering Garlands

Joden Girl

Baubles, Bling and Enameled Things

I love to research pieces of antique jewelry.  Going over each one with my loupe, I am always seeking hallmarks or maker’s marks.  It’s even better when a jewel is still enclosed within the original fitted case.  Often there are words (or clues) inside the lid to aid in my detective work, like this unique find.  “U Vieux Paris” translates to “in the Old Paris”.  12, Rue de la Paix.  Established in 1806, the Rue de la Paix is perhaps the most well-known street in Paris.  In the two hundred plus years since it’s creation, this charming area has boasted countless couture shops.  In the early days, boutiques like Cartier, Charles Frederick Worth and so many more sold high-end jewelry, cutting edge fashion, opulent leather goods, and stationary.  Today, iconic brands like Bvlgari, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel and Dior are well-established in this famous district.  

The time-worn chestnut brown leather covers the outside of a small jewelry box.  Inside is a perfectly matched duo of flocked velvet and shimmering satin fabrics.  Both are a deep merlot tone.  A simple push-button latch locks the lid in place.  A double-bordered rectangle is featured inside the top.  Hand-stamped in metallic gold ink are the very words mentioned above.  Nestled into the recesses of the wine red velvet is a miniature masterpiece the likes of which you have never seen.  

Measuring nearly three inches from top to bottom, this hand-painted enamel pendant is dripping with details.  Two separate enamel portraits flank the center, which is a ribbed 18-karat yellow gold column with a diamond-shaped cutout.  Set within that cutout is a tiny seed pearl flower with a small round ruby collet set in the middle.  The portrait on the left features a winged cherub clutching an arrow in his right hand and a vine of roses and daisies in his left hand.  The portrait on the opposite side also depicts a charming cherub.  This one appears to have a musical horn in each hand with a floral garland at his feet.  These two portraits are done in the same pastel hues and complement each other beautifully.  

Crowning the top of the pendant is a botanical tiara.  A series of three ruby blossoms are accented by sapphire, rose-cut diamond, and pearl buds and emerald leaves.  Each gemstone is held by a pinched collet setting.  A pair of similar swags loop across the bottom of the piece.  These smaller garlands have a singular flower in the center with a couple leaves and buds.  Dangling from the bottom are three gold-capped pearl tassels.  The larger middle tassel has five strands of hand-sewn pearls, while the outer two tassels have four strands.  

Although the name of the designer is not known, we are certain that this stunning representation from the early Victorian era (circa 1850) was hand-crafted by a true master jeweler.  Each tiny detail is delightful and engaging.  It is in excellent condition and is as wearable as it is collectible.  Make this antique beauty yours for $8,800.00.  

“You can go to a museum and look, or come to us and touch.”

Written by Carrie Martin

Photos by Dana Jerpe

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