Antique Necklace Normandy France En Esclavage 18k Gold Enamel Paste (ID:5140)


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Antique necklace. 18k gold, enamel, paste gems. Made in Normandy, France, mid 19th century.  <P><P>
Measurements: Hangs just under 15inches from clasp to bottom of drop. Excluding the drop, length is approx 16 inches. Weighs 20.8 grams.  <P><P>
From the late 1700's these necklaces were typical of the Normandie region of France. There are various explanations for the term en esclavage. One is that women were 'chained' into their marriage hence the slavery connotation.  They typically have swags or chains of varying

lengths in multiple rows that secure the plaques.  The swags are made of of gold links and chains of different shapes and patterns.  <P><P>
In this necklace there are a total of 5 medallions or plaques. Two smaller near the top and 3 larger in a line form a particularly long drop that terminates in a

gold charm, somewhat squished on one side.   <P><P>

Mike in Paris who specialised in this kind of jewelry, explained to me that the necklace was probably sold with three plaques. With every new child, another plaque or medallion was added. Thank you Mike. <P><P>

The plaques are spectacular and include very fine gold work, exquisite enamelling from Bourg-en-Bresse, in various colours, imitation pearls, 

sapphires (blue paste) and turquoise gems.  Quality of the workmanship and design is exquisite and of the highest order. The necklace is utterly magnificent and we

consider it a true museum piece. (one can compare many similar necklaces of this style in French museums and this one is better than, if not equal to most).  <P><P>
Marks: French 18k gold hallmarked.  <P><P>
Condition: as mentioned, the drop at the bottom of the pendant is dinged. It could be fixed, but we prefer to leave it as is. Otherwise, good condition with

negligible wear commensurate with age.

For further examples of this kind of necklace, see Claudette Joannis's book 'Bijoux des regions de France' and Bijoux et Orfevres en Haute Normandie au XIX siecle by Brigitte Bouret. 

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