Ref #: EJPEN15255
Antique Limoges Enamel Renaissance Revival Necklace
Important Renaissance Revival necklace, designed as a chain of shell and dolphin-motif links, suspending a removable pendant with a Baroque pearl drop, the Limoges enamel plaque depicting a woman in fanciful Henri IV style costume, the necklace mounted in silver and 18k yellow gold, circa 1885. Accompanied by the original fitted necklace box. 16" approximate length with 3.25" pendant.
Although it mysteriously lacks hallmarks, the label on the original fitted box as well as the style, materials, and quality suggest it is in fact the work of François-Théophile Couquaux, a goldsmith who won a silver medal in the Exposition Internationale in 1878 and who produced work in the Gothic and Renaissance revival styles in Paris throughout the 1880s. He was particularly noted for his figural work and religious objects.
The signed Limoges enamel plaque is the work of Alfred Meyer, who was instrumental in the revival of painted enamel technique in late 19th century France. He wrote and taught extensively and also created jewelry plaques for the jewelers Lucien Falize and Henri Vever. The pendant has a glass-fronted compartment for hair at the back, and an extra shell motif fitting allows it to be worn as a ribbon slide.
The Renaissance Revival style, popular throughout Europe in the second half of the nineteenth-century, reflected a resurgence in national cultural pride and an appreciation for the style and techniques of Renaissance jewelers such as Benvenuto Cellini. The combination of silver and gold was considered an artistic style for jewelry and was popularized earlier in the century by jewelers such as François-Desiré Froment-Meurice.