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Cross

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ydot, Paul (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt filigree with enamels and coloured pastes

  • Museum number:

    1228-1873

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 73, shelf D, box 4

Bourg-en-Bresse, in the south east of France, specialised in making enamels. The enamellers did not work directly on the finished object, but made individual plaques of enamel in a wide palette of different colours, building up the surface with separate drops of colour and tiny shapes made from gold leaf. The jewellers then set these plaques in jewellery, as if they were precious stones. They often added a tiny stone in the centre of the plaques, creating a rich multi-textured effect. Many Bressan enamel plaques were exported to other places, particularly Paris, where local goldsmiths used them in their jewellery. This cross has the mark of Paul Ydot of Paris, who worked from 1870 to 1891. It was bought for £1 9s. at the International Exhibition, London, 1872.

The British revered French fashion as much in the 19th century as today, and loved the rich colours of Bressan enamels. They believed that these pieces were authentic French peasant jewellery but most never formed part of traditional costume.

Physical description

Pendant cross, consisting of six lozenge-shaped enamel medallions set in a filigree frame, suspended from a bale with an oval medallion, formerly enamelled, on its front. All the (remaining) enamels are further decorated with tiny faceted pastes in the centre.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

ca. 1870 (made)

Artist/maker

Ydot, Paul (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt filigree with enamels and coloured pastes

Marks and inscriptions

'PY' in lozenge.
Mark of Paul Ydot of Paris.
On the front of the cross, on the suspension ring.

Dimensions

Length: 8.4 cm, Width: 4.8 cm, Depth: 0.8 cm

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt filigree pendent cross decorated with Bressan enamels, Paris (France), c.1870.

Materials

Silver-gilt; Enamel; Paste

Techniques

Filigree

Subjects depicted

Cross

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Christianity; Traditional jewellery (Europe)

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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