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Original gold Saint Esprit Cross made in France in 19th Century

Antique jewelry object group: pendant

Country of origin: France

Style: Victorian - Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and Interior decoration. Victorian design is widely viewed as having indulged in a regrettable excess of ornament. The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era.
See also: Victorian or more info on styles

Style specifics: The Victorian period can roughly be divided into 3 distinct periods; the Romantic (1837 - 1860), Grand (1861 - 1885), and Late or Aesthetic Period (1880 - 1901). We consider this to be of the Romantic Period. During the early period, romantic and symbolic pieces were most favored and often included motifs of hearts, anchors, snakes and crosses. Also semi-precious gems including garnets, amethyst, coral, turquoise and seed pearls were highly favored.

Period: ca. 1840
(events and facts in 1840)

Source of inspiration: Christianity

Theme: Saint-Esprit cross - The Saint-Esprit cross is a traditional bourgeoisie (European middle-class) jewelry from France, made in gold or silver, representing the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, usually portrayed flying back to earth; head down and wings wide open, imaging the divine word.

In the models of Normandy (region in northern France), the dove holds an olive branch, a branch of flowers or a bunch of grapes in its mouth and has a rich ornate bow above its tail.

But the Saint-Esprit cross is primarily a jewel from the middle of France in the Auvergne department. There were specific models in many cities and areas. Especially Aurillac - a major center of gold and silversmiths - was known for its Saint-Esprit crosses, stained and covered with coloured enamel (in Aurillac usually green and yellow). Several stones decorate the body of the dove, the symbol of God's love. Often there are three pendants hanging at the Saint-Esprit cross, each with a stone, symbolizing the tears of Christ.

Above the tail there are often three stones in a line, garnet (sometimes even a man-made garnet imitiation), a citrine or a citrine on a pink background, named "topaz of Aurillac".

In the ancient times, the dove is the symbol of love and marital fidelity and the messenger of secret love. In Christianity it is the dove who brings the olive branch, symbol of the peace of God and his love for man.

Material: 18K yellow gold
(more info on precious metals)

Technique: Enamelling is an old and widely-adopted technology. The ancient Egyptians applied enamels to pottery and stone objects. The ancient Greeks, Celts, Russians, and Chinese also used enameling processes on metal objects. Enamel is the colorful result of fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. The powder melts and flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, glass or ceramic. According to some sources, the word enamel comes from the High German word smelzan (to smelt) via the Old French esmail. Used as a noun, "an enamel" is a usually small decorative object, coated with enamel coating, such as a champlevé or a cloisonné (different techniques).

Precious stones: Seven red paste stones (also called strass ) as garnet imitation.
(more info on precious stones)

Birthstones: Garnet is the birthstone (or month stone) for January.
(more info on birthstones)

Hallmarks: The French control mark for 18K gold representing a horse's head that was in use in France from about 1838.
(more info on hallmarks)

Condition: very good condition
(more info on our condition scale)

Dimensions: height 8.50 cm (3.35 inch)

Weight: 7.20 gram (4.63 dwt)

Reference Nº: 10315-4333

Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry

See also our:
pendants, jewelry with birds, crosses, christian jewelry, jewelry with enamel, yellow gold jewelry, jewelry with strass/paste, latest acquisitions,
antique jewelry, estate jewelry, vintage jewelry or modern jewelry

Jewelry with birthstones (or month stones) for:
January - February - March - April - May - June - July
August - September - October - November or December.

Additional information:
jewelry glossary - wall of fame - visit us in Antwerp - subscribe to our mailinglist.

What is antique jewelry? - What is estate jewelry? - What is vintage jewelry?

Original gold Saint Esprit Cross made in France in 19th Century
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