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French Renaissance Revival "Holbeinesque" Demi-Parure

This extravagant French Renaissance Revival "Holbeinesque" demi-parure dating from circa 1870 consists of a day/night girandole pendant earrings and a brooch, both composed of garnets, emeralds, diamonds, seed pearls, enamel and 18K gold. The day/night girandole earpendants are each designed with a shaped top centering a cabochon garnet, with detachable pendants suspending flexibly-set garnet drops and seed pearls, enhanced throughout with step-cut emeralds, old mine-cut diamonds, and black and white champlevé enamel, mounted in 18K gold. An exquisite pair of "girandoles", paired with a luxe brooch, this rare French suite in Holbeinesque taste captures the artist's vision of bold form, extravagant color and movement.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: STE-21098
Country: France
Circa: 1870
Dimensions: Brooch: 2.25" length x 2.00" width, Earrings: 2.00" length x 0.75" width
Materials: 9 cabochon and tear-drop form garnets; 16 step-cut emeralds (approximate total weight 1.40 carats); 16 old mine-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 1.20 carats); 23 seed pearls; 18K Gold; Enamel
Signed: French assay mark, unidentified maker's mark

Hans Holbein the Younger, the German Renaissance painter best known for his portraits of royalty, was also a jewelry designer favored by Henry VIII and his court. Twenty of his original jewelry design drawings in pen and gouache, belonging to the British Museum, were published in 1869 as studies from which jewelers, both professional and amateur, could draw learned inspiration. A number of additional museums, including The Morgan Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, hold examples of his designs for intricate and vividly conceived jewels. In England, where the style was beloved, Carlo Giuliano of London was its greatest exponent. This suite, handled with the light touch, delicacy, and concern for proper form and proportion on the wearer, bespeaks an eminently capable and thoughtful French jeweler.