I've never seen a more stunning Art Nouveau portrait head than the Victorian lady featured on this 1 3/8" medallion from the 1880s or 1890s. She's gorgeously detailed - and no mere cutie with flowing hair, but a woman of obvious strength and intelligence. The floral shapes of her bouquet are echoed in the lavaliere attachment, which is all flowers. Prong-set pastes, still diamond-bright, add sparkling highlights to this exquisite piece, which bears the title "FIORE" (flower) and the stamp of its creator, C. H. Pillet.
Charles Pillet, as you may know, was among those responsible for reviving medallic art in the late 19th century - the "art medal" being a form previously associated with the Italian Renaissance. Among the Parisian artist's many honors was the Grand Prix de Rome in 1890.
Naturally, an item of this quality would be extremely expensive if it still had its original chain. We did find one that's of the period and wonderfully long (almost 36"), so just perfect for wearing at waist length as is so stylish now. The chain, from old manufacturer's stock, dates from araound 1900 and is in pristine condition but rich with the unmistakable patina of age. The pendant is in lovely condition, too, showing only age-appropriate surface wear and a few minor dings on the reverse.
Thanks for looking!