Antique Victorian Napoleon III parure / jewelry set consisting of earrings / ear pendants, pendant, cufflinks. 18k gold, silver gilt, lapis lazuli, pearls, enamel. Made by Charles Fontana whose famous shop was located at the Palais Royale in Paris, circa 1860 - 1880. Comes in original, fitted box.
Measurements: Total weight is 59.8 grams. Pendant is 1 7/8 inches (5cm) long. Earrings are 1 1/2 inches (4cm) long, not including wires. Cufflinks are approximately 7/8 inches (2.25cm) in diameter.
For full description, please see below.
Description : The set consists of 3 parts that can be worn alone or in combinations together. Forms are round and geometric, anticipating Art Deco design by half a century. The pendant earrings consist of smaller and larger globes of lapis lazuli, seperated by gold loops and a small pearl. The loops allow the earrings to swing and sway as the wearer moves. Simple, yet sturdy gold wires make wearing the earrings easy. Echoing the round theme, the pendant consists of a large, rounded disc of lapis with a great polish that allows the natural matrix of the lapis to add interest. It is suspended from a loop of blue enamel, centered by a pearl. The large bale is enamelled with perfectly matching blue enamel. The shape is repeated in the cufflinks, which are also round.
Original shaped, fitted box with leather outside having silver initials AV superimposed on each other on the top. These are presumably the owner's initials. Inside bottom is deep red velvet and the inner lid is silk with gold embossed letters for C FONTANA & CO Palais Royal and their address in Paris. Hinge and clasp of box in good order.
Vever described Fontana as one of the best jewellers in Paris - high praise indeed. The well-regarded jeweller was artistic and talented enough to let the wonderful, natural color of the lapis lazuli do most of the talking in this set. No superfluous frills, it is a masterful statement of understated elegance. A strong and bold design makes this set, dating from the Victorian era, as ageless and wearable today as it was 150 years ago.
The various parts of this jewelry set or parure can be worn individually or together, making a very complete statement and elegant complement to any outfit.
Marks and Metal: The wires of the earrings have double owl marks (indicating 18k gold) on each. The loop of the pendant also has the owl mark. backs of cufflinks have swan marks indicating silver.
Condition: Good with minor wear commensurate with age and use. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
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