Romantic Antique French Necklace : Fine Roses & Gold Petals

 

Romantic Antique French Necklace : Fine Roses & Gold Petals

Romantic Antique French Necklace : Fine Roses & Gold Petals

The subject of this romantic necklace, although typical 19th Century, announces the coming of the Art Nouveau style. Romance and love are symbolized by beautiful flowers : refined roses with highly detailed petals in 18 high Carat yellow gold.

In beauty, shape and scent, the rose is outstanding and hence has become the most commonly used floral symbol in the West. Roses have symbolical meanings in classic and Christian art. For example Venus was associated with roses, symbolizing love and beauty, whereas Virgin Mary sometimes was called a « rose without thorns » because of her purity.

Made in France around 1900, we are sure of the origin of this necklace because of the French control mark for 18K gold representing an eagle’s head that was in use in France from about 1838. The necklace weighs 10.20 grams and measures 42.00 cm (16.54 inch). Delivered with its authenticity certificate.

Roses symbolism

Flowery antique necklace bow chain roses on branch

Flowery antique necklace bow chain roses on branch

First of all a symbol of love but there are many prophecies, legends and fairy tales made about this beautiful flower. A rose that blooms in autumn can mean a marriage. And you must remember the fairy tail of Sleeping Beauty. The bad queen pricked the beautiful, young princess with a thorn from a rose. She slept 100 years and a beautiful, young prince woke her up with a kiss. They married and they lived happily ever after. There exists a legend about how the rose got her thorns. The rose grew originally in the Garden of Eden and had no thorns. After the fall the rose got her thorns to remind people of their sin. Her beauty might been kept as memory of Paradise. In the antiquity Eros, the Greek God of Love, was represented as a fresh and rosy (color of roses), lively and cheerful boy with goldish hair (like the stamens). The arrows were like the thorns and his wings were like the petals of the rose. In beauty, shape and scent, the rose is outstanding and hence has become the most commonly used floral symbol in the West. Roses have symbolical meanings in classic and Christian art. For example Venus was associated with roses, symbolizing love and beauty, whereas Virgin Mary sometimes was called a « rose without thorns » because of her purity.

Filigree Necklace Fontenay

Filigree Necklace Gold Fontenay

It is with great pride that we offer this magnificent necklace here. A true museum piece that we are thrilled to have in our collection.

The continuous uniform fringe decorated with beads, wirework and florettes of this necklace is typical for the work of Eugène Fontenay. A demi-parure of very similar design is illustrated in French Jewelry of the Nineteenth Century, Henri Vever, translated by Katherine Purcell, p. 643. and a similar necklace plus matching earrings were sold last year at Sotheby’s for $ 52,000!

The archaeological revival is the appellation for neo-styles of the 18th and 19th centuries that where inspired by discoveries in the excavations of Roman, Egyptian, Hellenistic and Etruscan sites. The first revival in the 18th century, which is called neoclassicism, came after excavations of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The second revival was inspired by finds in Etruscan burial sites (in Italy). In jewelry, this style is characterized by granulation and filigree decorations.

There is some discussion among experts on who rediscovered the granulation technique. To some it was Castellani in the 19th Century but various methods of manufacturing and handling of granules have been described by Pliny in 79 AD, V. Biringucchio in 1540, G. Agricola in 1556, B. Cellini in 1568, M. Fachs in 1595 and A. Libavius in 1597/1606. In fact never since it was first used has granulation been a lost art. Until far into the 19th Century, the time of its alleged ‘rediscovery’, this technique has thrived continuously in many places like Russia, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Tibet and Persia. This also holds true for Swiss, German and Dutch folk-jewelry.

Eugène Fontenay (1823-87) was one of the foremost goldsmiths in France during the second half of the nineteenth century. He was a great admirer of the ancient techniques of granulation and filigree, and became best known for his outstanding work in the ‘archaeological’ style. Fontenay was no doubt inspired by the Campana collection of ancient jewellery, acquired by Napoleon III in 1860, and his firm produced much work in the antique style based on Greek, Roman and Etruscan examples.

Click the picture to see a close-up of this magnificent necklace.