As museums opened across Europe in the 19th century, people flocked to marvel at the treasures of the past -- and then they wanted the look. This led to a series of historical revivals, including Classical, Gothic, Baroque and Rococo, as well as the Renaissance style we see here. The Austrians (who became Austro-Hungarians after the early 1860s) did particularly lovely work in the Renaissance vein, aided by long experience in enamel painting, which was central to the type.
A wonderful example of that artistry is this bracelet. Both its dating (1875-1880) and origin are established by the fact that a necklace featuring precisely the same painted motif is a book piece. (See "Popular Jewelry 1840-1940" by Roseann Ettinger.) The charming miniature, hand-painted on a cabochon of porcelain, shows a richly colored scene in which an aristocratic couple enjoy music outdoors on an autumn day. The young lady plays a lute while her beau sings along. Their attire evokes the early Renaissance and further nods to that era include the wristband of finely formed and textured filigree and the painting's frame, which is constructed architecturally in three layers, with intricate surface patterning and a fine dogtooth collet.
The band is an oval, as is characteristic of many fine 19th century bracelets, and it's really a better fit on the arm than round. Size is on the petite side, suited to a smaller than average wrist (up to about 6 inches).
Condition of the bracelet is marvelous, especially considering the delicacy of the materials. The porcelain plaque shows no wear; the hinge and clasp work perfectly; and the rest of the richly gilded metalwork reveals just a few tiny dings under very high magnification. Clearly, it's been cared for with love. It reached us from a West Coast estate.
There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!