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  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ydot, Paul (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt with enamels and pastes

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 73, shelf D, box 5

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 five oval enamelled medallions surrounding a central heart-shaped medallion, formerly enamelled. Filigree decoration round the heart, and between the lowest two ovals. Matching oval enamel medallion on the front of the bale. Each medallion further decorated with a small faceted paste in the centre.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


ca. 1870 (made)


Ydot, Paul (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt with enamels and pastes

Marks and inscriptions

'Y' in lozenge (top of mark missing)
Partial mark of Paul Ydot of Paris
On front of cross, on suspension ring.

boar's head in shaped frame
French mark for 800 standard silver, 1838 onwards
On front of cross, on suspension ring.


Length: 8.0 cm, Width: 4.8 cm, Depth: 0.8 cm

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt pendant cross set with Bressan enamels, France, 19th century.


Silver-gilt; Enamel; Paste

Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork; Christianity


Metalwork Collection

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