We here in the US think of Mardi Gras as something connected to New Orleans, but in fact the roots of Fat Tuesday go back to the middle ages and it’s celebrations in Italy and France rival any float that Bourbon Street has to offer. Mardi Gras, also called Carnival, was a time when people celebration with rich foods and celebrations before the start of Lent.
This French beauty may have been worn to quite a few Mardi-Gras celebrations in her home country. The necklace would have been worn originally with a black ribbon threaded through the ends and tied in a sexy little bow at the back of the neck. Most necklaces made this way have had these originally ends removed and replaced with more modern chain so I was delighted to come across this one which is in its original condition.
The necklace is so wonderfully made that I wouldn’t be surprised if this paste version was made as a replica of a diamond one, which women would often do to protect their more precious jewels from being lost or stolen. It’s fully hand crafted in silver and set with early, hand cut paste gems. The center features a motif of a heart, fleur-de-lis and crown, the whole necklace sparkles and shimmers with even the slightest movement.
This necklace is 15.75 inches long, but adjustable to about any length with the ribbon. The drop is 50 mm long and 30 mm across, it weighs 42.8 grams. It is unmarked but tested as silver. The gorgeous piece was hand crafted around 1870-80.
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