Stunning 18k French Pearl Art Nouveau Pendant Circa 1890
Like all art, the zeitgeist of a particular era is written in the design of its jewelry. It is said that Art Nouveau jewelry was a reaction to French society at the time, including women's fight to secure more rights for themselves outside of the home. The nation's loss in the Franco-Prussian War left the French worried about what would occur if women got jobs and education, and worried the birth rate would then drop, leaving the country with fewer men to support future armies. This explains the feminist flavor of Art Nouveau.
In many ancient societies, pearls symbolized the moon and were imbued with magical properties. Ancient Chinese civilizations believed that wearing pearls protected a person from fire and dragons, and other cultures have associated them with chastity and modesty. In Victorian England, small seed pearls were often used in mourning jewelry to symbolize tears.
This tiny but mighty pendant is filled with symbolism, featuring three central pearls that dangle from an intertwined vine and another pearl atop. Detailed goldwork, leaf motifs throughout, and stunning pearls, all come together to create this feminine, classic, and timeless piece that belongs in any look or collection!
Materials and Features: 18k gold, four pearls
Age/Origin: Art Nouveau, c. 1890
Measurements: 2.6 grams, 1.25"
Condition: Excellent condition. Minor associated age wear.
Please view and inspect any photos closely. We endeavor to fully disclose all condition information clearly and concisely, however, please note that what qualifies as excellent condition for historical jewelry differs from modern and contemporary pieces; please take the age of the piece into account when examining the piece. Minor age wear is typical and to be expected for antique and vintage jewelry. Unless otherwise stated, gemstones have not been officially graded for color, clarity, or treatment by GIA; any information provided is our own educated, professional assessment.