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Necklace

  • Place of origin:

    Bourg-en-Bresse (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver-gilt set with enamels and coloured pastes

  • Credit Line:

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

  • Museum number:

    M.186-1937

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91 to 93 mezzanine, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 73, shelf D, box 7

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.

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

Silver-gilt necklace, consisting of 20 circular enamel medallions, alternating between small ones, and others increasing in size towards the centre, with a central motif of square and circular medallions. Pear-shaped enamel drops hang from the lower edges, and there is a matching circular snap clasp. All the medallions are further decorated with faceted pastes in the centre.

Place of Origin

Bourg-en-Bresse (made)

Date

ca. 1870 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Silver-gilt set with enamels and coloured pastes

Marks and inscriptions

'IM' with star in lozenge
Unknown maker's mark
On back of clasp.

Dimensions

Length: 32.5 cm, Width: 6.8 cm, Depth: 0.5 cm

Descriptive line

Silver-gilt necklace decorated with Bressan enamels, Bourg-en-Bresse (France), 19th century.

Materials

Silver-gilt; Enamel; Paste

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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