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Cross

  • Place of origin:

    Bourg-en-Bresse (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fornet, Amédée (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt set with enamel and coloured pastes

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Lt. Col. R. H. R. Brocklebank DSO, in accordance with his wife's wishes

  • Museum number:

    M.185-1937

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 73, shelf D, box 6

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. This cross has the mark of Amédée Fornet, who was the leading jeweller in Bourg-en-Bresse from 1870 to the end of the century, and won prizes for his work at international exhibitions in Vienna, Antwerp, Moscow, Philadelphia and Melbourne.

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 of open-work silver-gilt, set with five lozenge-shaped enamel medallions, and seven smaller circular ones. All the enamels are further decorated with small faceted pastes in the centre. Wedge-shaped bale.

Place of Origin

Bourg-en-Bresse (made)

Date

ca. 1870 (made)

Artist/maker

Fornet, Amédée (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt set with enamel and coloured pastes

Marks and inscriptions

'F' and star in lozenge (left part of mark missing)
Partial mark of Amédée Fornet of Bourg-en-Bresse
On front of cross, on suspension ring.

Dimensions

Length: 7.9 cm, Width: 5.1 cm, Depth: 0.8 cm

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt pendant cross set with Bressan enamels, Bourg-en-Bresse (France), 19th century.

Materials

Silver-gilt; Enamel; Paste

Techniques

Gilding; Enamelling

Subjects depicted

Cross

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Christianity

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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