Antique Victorian bracelet. 18k yellow gold and sapphires. Made in Paris, France and signed by Frederic Boucheron, circa 1890. Later exported to Russia and then back to France. See below.
Measurements: Weight is 30.4 grams. Length 6 3/4 inches (17.5cm), not including the tongue of clasp.
Please see below for full description.
Description : Alternating masks/faces with cabochon sapphires set in the center of openwork gold scrolls. The masks are believed to represent the 8 Continents. Two are clearly Native American and possibly represent North and South America. One mask is African and 2 are Asian. The other continents include Europe, Antartica and Australia and one head looks to be a Viking. Tongue-in-groove clasp with figure-8 safety catch. Articulated thanks to fine hinges behind each mask.
Design and workmanship are exquisite. Please see historical notes below.
Marks and Metal: There are a number of marks on the tongue of the clasp. The marks include: F. BOUCERON on one side of tongue. French eagle mark for 18k gold, made in France; Moscow city mark (St George) in a circle; St. Petersburg bullet mark with head and 72. Other co-joined hallmarks including eagle head that are not clearly legible.
Condition: Good with negligible wear commensurate with age. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
Frederic Boucheron founded the famous jewelry house in 1858. Favoured then, as now, by the most discerning jewelry buyers, Boucheron was favoured by the Imperial Court of Russia. A store was opened in Moscow in 1897 and another in St. Petersburg in 1911. The hallmarks prove that this bracelet, made in France, was sold in Russia and then returned to France at a later date.
Frederic Boucheron was and is, highly regarded. Vever commends his incredible imagination and daring as well as the superb craftsmanship that were features of his success. This bracelet is a marvellous reflection of these qualities.
(see Vever's book on French jewelry page 874 onwards).
This unique bracelet is very rare. We did see a chatelaine/necklace in the book on Boucheron by Giles Neret (page 34), which a face / mask very similar to the Viking on the extreme left of this bracelet.
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