Saturday, March 17, 2012

Religious Discoveries In The Garden

We would like to explain a little bit about the variations in our collection of antique French provincial jewelry. Most of these are inspired by religion, which is not so unexpected given the might of the church in the last centuries. Every province of France had a different type of dress code with specific jewelry for each one. The quality of our collection is truly museum-worthy and yet eminently wearable. Just imagine wearing a piece of jewelry that has seen two or even three turns of centuries.

This type of cross is part of the adornment of wealthy married women along the coast between Boulogne and Dunkirk in France. They are recognised by the shell motifs that evoke pilgrimage to Saint Jacques de Compostelle. The filigree work harks back to it's distant Spanish origin.

This cross pendant is both a religious symbol and a tool for regional identification. Together with a specific costume it denotes social status too. Size and abundance of materials that compose it reflect the wealth of its wearer.

This cross belongs to the rare group of French Provincial gold cross pendants that were made at the end of the 18th Century (around 1790). It was bought and worn by wealthy provincial French women. These jewels rarely contained diamonds which were mostly used by jewellers for the nobility. This very cross from our collection is depicted in the famous book "Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830" page 152.

This cross was the most typical and traditional cross made in Roussillon in France. Usually tied around the neck with a silk or velvet ribbon. The shape of this jewel was developed by Catalan goldsmiths in the late 17th Century. It was worn in the Empire and Restoration periods, and depicted on the portrait of Elizabeth Campagnac.

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