A stunning French Art Nouveau 18K gold and diamond necklace. The necklace features a 1/3-carat old mine-cut diamond in a round setting suspended from a fine gold chain. A knife-edge drop hangs from the center and terminates in a smaller diamond. On either side, knife-edge drops of different lengths are dotted with small diamonds before terminating in diamond clusters. Upon close inspection, it is clear that the clusters represent flowers, with the three upper diamonds in each cluster being larger than the two lower diamonds, much like a pansy has a combination of larger upper petals and smaller lower petals. The pansy, symbolizing remembrance, was a favorite floral symbol in French Art Nouveau jewelry. The diamonds are of superb quality, with excellent bright color and clarity. Negligée necklaces (so named because the clusters hang “negligently” askew) are usually seen in white gold or platinum and reached the height of popularity around 1920. This is an earlier example, probably dating to around 1900. The necklace is hallmarked with French “tete d’aigle” marks for 18K gold.
Origin: France, ca. 1900. Condition: excellent, all original. Size: chain, 17-3/8” long; diamond drop, 1-5/8” long. Weight: 6.5 grams. Approximate Total Diamond Weight: 1.6 carats.