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This exquisite French antique necklace, circa 1810, is a remarkable exemplar of the Empire style, reflecting the grandeur of early 19th-century design. Crafted in 18K bi-color gold, it showcases the intricate art of enamelling, a skill refined since ancient times, evoking a sense of nostalgia. Its design, characteristic of Bresse Enamel, is esteemed for its vibrant and enduring beauty, imbuing the piece with an air of elegance. Termed a 'collier d'esclave', this necklace carries a rich narrative of French heritage, often considered the most precious gift at weddings. Adorned with the hallmark of a rooster's head, it not only epitomizes elegance but also inspires wonder with its historical and cultural significance.
Antique jewelry object group: necklace
Condition: excellent condition
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Country of origin: France
Style: Empire - The Empire style, sometimes considered the second phase of Neoclassicism, is an early-19th-century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts followed in Europe and America up to around 1830. The style originated in and takes its name from the period when Napoleon I ruled France, known as the First French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon's leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States and to the Regency style in Britain. An earlier phase of the style was called the Adam style in Great Britain and "Louis Seize" or Louis XVI, in France.
- See also: Empire or more info on styles
Period: ca. 1810
- (events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era)
Material: 18K bi-color (yellow and red) gold
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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).
The type of enameling is typical for the city Bresse in France, hence the name Bresse Enamel.
Extra information: Collier d'esclavage - Esclavage is French and literally it means slavery. We'll leave it to your imagination to give an interpretation to this naming. It is a type of necklace composed of three or more chains or strings of beads or jewels in which the chains or strings hang approximately equidistant from each other. They were worn in Normandy as peasant jewelry in the mid-18th century. Such jewels were in many regions of France the most beautiful jewel offered by the bridegroom to his bride the day of their wedding. The definition of 'collier esclavage' appears for the first time in the 'Dictionnaire de Trévoux' in 1752. This necklace knows a very large geographical diffusion. In Normandy the gold pieces were often engraved. A collier d'esclave is an extremely rare article to find and we are proud to be able to offer one here.
Hallmarks: The French hallmark depicting a rooster's head which was used in France for 18K gold around 1810.
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Dimensions: length 51,00 cm (20,08 inch) cm
Weight: 13,90 gram (8,94 dwt)
Reference Nº: 15128-0176
Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry
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