Pendant called “Saint Esprit” or holy spirit speckled with white and green enamel and has foiled paste stones with a magical pinkish/red/gold colouring called “oil and vinegar”. Three “pendeloques” or pendent elements set with stones are articulated to the dove.
This pendant belongs to a rare collection of French Provincial gold crosses and Saint-Esprit pendants. Saint Esprit was a religious icon and worn by French wealthy peasant women throughout the eighteenth century, both a symbol of faith and a fashion statement.
You can find this rare piece of jewelry in the book “Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830” written by Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collings, page 153.
According to the Bible, the dove of “Saint Esprit” or Holy Spirit descending from heaven to earth with wings spread is the symbol of love, but it is also the spirit of power. The Protestants took it as a rallying point. Mixed With religious symbolism and ancient memories, this bird was quickly assimilated to the union and a promise of fertility. It is the symbol most often represented in Normandy in the 18th century.
This pendant presents three “pendeloques” or pendants called “tears of Christ” or “gourds of pilgrims”. This type of jewel was worn by beautiful and wealthy peasant women in France before the Empire period.
As quoted “The women of lower status wear around the neck small gold cross hanging from a narrow velvet ribbon, elegant women wear a gold chain which is attached a Saint Esprit descending to the middle of the breast.”
Pendant “Saint Esprit” ref.10031-4376
18 carats yellow gold, strass stones
origin: France – Auvergne
height 7.55 cm (2.97 inch)