One of the nicest little pendants with plique a jour enamel we have ever seen. French Art Nouveau (ca. 1895-1905) as only the French can make it, refined, tasteful and of superb quality. Too bad we couldn’t decipher the remains of the mastermark but we wouldn’t be surprised if this beauty was made by one of the famous French jewelers.
Plique-à-jour, (French for “braid letting in daylight”) is a vitreous enamelling technique where the enamel is applied in cells, similar to cloisonné, but with no backing in the final product, so light can shine through the transparent or translucent enamel. It has a stained-glass like appearance and is considered very challanging technically.
The name Art Nouveau most of us know but depending on the country the style has some different names. In Germany it was called “Jugendstil“, after a magazine called Die Jugend (The Youth), in Holland “Slaoliestijl” (salad oil style) after an advertising for salad oil and in Italy “Floreale” or “Stile Liberty” (after the London store that featured it).
One of the joys of our métier is that every now and then we stumble upon a piece of absolute beauty. As was the case this week when the depicted Art Nouveau pendant was being offered to us. It’s a sort of locket except there is no place for pictures because the original mirrors are still inside. Pure Art Nouveau, made in France, bigger then it appears on the picture (height 6.10 cm or 2.40 inch), fully signed E.Dropsy and of a quality that we hardly see. Look and enjoy!