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Échelle is French for "ladder" or "scale". A set of three or more jewelled dress ornaments shaped and decorated en suite but of graduated sizes, made with a metal loop on the back so as to be sewn to a woman's garment in a vertical row of diminishing size and changeable to various garments.
Examples were popular in England in the Georgian period, sometimes in the form of bow-knots set with diamonds. Sometimes many mayching dress ornaments of ungraduated sizes were worn to supplement the échelles.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson