Antique Plique-á-Jour Silver and Enamel Pendant with Diamonds and Rubies, Art Nouveau c. 1900
Sometimes when I’m shopping in Europe I come across a piece of jewelry that I absolutely must have. I just can’t help myself in a way, I’m so overwhelmed by the beauty, the history, the rarity, and the artistry of a piece that once i pick it up and hold I find I just can’t put it down. This was such a piece. I was shopping in Amsterdam, in the sunny window of my friend Lenore’s shop was hanging this most amazing Plique-á-jour pendant, it’s enamel glowing in the sunlight, it’s diamonds and rubies sparkling and winking with even the slightest movement. The flowers and leaves were so cheery that I almost forgot the cold winter wind of the day.
Plique-á-jour, French for 'light of day', was a form of enameling where cells were created within the metalwork of a piece of jewelry and then these cells were filled with enamel and the whole piece was then fired, forming a stained glass like effect out of enamel. The process is difficult and time consuming, but when done correctly, the results are simply stunning. Very good enamelists could create color shades and variations such as those seen here in the fading from white to blue and peach to yellow on the flowers or or the green of the leaves Art Nouveau artists, with their affinity for naturalism in all things, were drawn to the realistic colors and ethereal glow of enamel and especially Plique-á-jour.
This fantastic, large and fully hand crafted pendant is set with 5 Old European cut diamonds that add up to about 1.3 carats in total weight and 3 rich red-purple rubies that add up to about 1.1 carats in total. The pendant is crafted in 900 silver and is marked with ‘900’, it also has a Russian import mark, this mark is the 84 Zolotniks mark and was used in Russia from 1899 to 1909 on items presented for assay as finished items of jewelry. It’s not possible to know exactly when or where this pendant was made but I would suspected a very safe estimate on the date to be 1900 and it may have been made in Russia or even Germany or France. It is a very high quality piece, extremely unusual and very large. it measures 81.8 mm long and 44.4 mm wide and weighs 16.1 grams. This chain is not included, but I would be happy to provide you with one upon request, this large pendant would work equally well on a silver Victorian collar, and I’m happy to provide example photos upon request.
Yup, it this fabulous pendant just had to be mine. But, if you feel the same way, than it can be yours, I’m always willing to share and it’s been a joy to own and photograph this one! It comes in an antique leather and gold box that I suspect it’s been with for many years, although it’s not fitted and probably didn’t start out with this pendant.
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A Message From Victoria:
Please note that all items listed as silver or gold are either marked (in which case there will be a photo clearly showing the mark) or have been acid tested by me to verify their metal content. Please also note that there is a size photo showing the size of all items (ring show American ring sizes, photo grid is in inches). Thanks!
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