Antique Victorian Bracelet Bangle. Silver and Gold, guilloche enamel and natural pearls. Made 1850 by François-Désiré Froment-Meurice, Paris, circa 1850 and bought from the Family Collection. <P><P>
Measurements: Weight is 62.5 grams. Length is 7 inches (18cm). Width a little under 1 1/2 inches (3.5cm). <P><P>
Please see below for full description.
Description : Magnificent bracelet from the Froment-Meurice Family Collection, made by the father, François-Désiré Froment-Meurice who was instrumental in introducing the Romantic Gothic Revival style in Paris during the 19th century. This articulated, wide bangle consists of alternating quatrefoil plaques and sections with sculpted putti. The quatrefoil plaques are clearly immitating Gothic windows and are enamelled in a wonderful Royal blue guilloche enamel. They are adorned with applied sculpted birds in flight/alighting/at rest - each one differs from the others, sculpted fully in the round in silver and placed against foliage of gold. Natural pearls are set on the enamel. The outer borders of the blue enamel are impressed, fine scallops of gold. <P><P>
Alternating with the enamelled bird plaques are silver Classic putti in full relief, with wings of gold, very finely detailed. A pearl is placed at the feet of each putto. Scrolls and openwork foliage in gold complete the section. <P><P> The back of the bracelet is gilded and very beautifully made, showing the extremely fine work and effort put into making this amazing piece and allowing it to drape beautifully on the arm, despite its size. Wonderful technical standard. Tongue in groove clasp. <P><P>
The quality of the workmanship and design of this bracelet are both exceptonal. Froment-Meurice was one of the greatest jewellers of the 19th century, and this bracelet is a particular testimony to his craftsmanship. Vever page 235 shows a bracelet in the Romantic Renaissance taste with stations alternating with putti very similar to this one. He also shows numerous examples of jewelry with similar putti. A bracelet by Froment-Meurice in the Victoria and Albert Museum has similar putti alternating with simple foliage. We believe our example is quite superior. <P><P>Pearls were not tested, but since there were only natural pearls at this date, it is a fairly safe assumption that they are natural. <P><P> François-Désiré Froment-Meurice is one of the most important and celebrated French romantic artists. Leader of an illustrious dynasty of Parisian jewelers and goldsmiths of the XIX th century, he was nicknamed by his contemporaries "the e Cellini ", referring to the great Florentine sculptor of the Renaissance. Victor Hugo wrote a poem in his honor in which he equates his skill with that of a poet and a sculptor. Balzac mentions him in Cousine Bette. <P><P>
Marks and Metal: Various hallmarks including owl for 18k gold and swan for 800 silver. Gold tongue has clear owl and swan and partially legible maker's mark lozenge. Behind the groove is a swan mark and two marks that are unknown to us. Behind the central plaque, FROMENT MEURICE is clearly engraved, which is the typical mark for this maker. <P><P>
Condition: Good with negligible wear commensurate with age. One or two small pearls are missing, which does not impact on the visual appearance of the bracelet. Enamel is in great shape. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
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