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Georgian Green Paste & Gold Festoon Necklace


The festoon necklace is one of the more graceful and feminine forms of the necklace. Fashionable from around 1790 to about 1820, a central linear necklace is the support for smaller chains in loops or swags suspended from the main element. The origin of both the design and name is most likely from classical antiquity when garlands of natural flowers, foliage or fruit were joined together and draped from ribbons which were then placed over an entrance way.

Napoleonic era craftsmanship has translated 14k yellow gold wire into a diamond configuration of golden lace set with square flat cut emerald pastes. Small flower heads of gold dot the surface of each cluster. The basis for fine art and architecture is its proportion and symmetry and these fundamental components are clearly defined in this antique festoon necklace as it lies beautifully against the neck and upper torso.

Please see pages 100 to 103 in “Necklace” by Mascetti and Triossi for similar examples.

+ Measurements, Condition & More

Measurements: 19-1/8 inches (48.6 cm) in length and each of the five gold and paste clusters measure 1-3/8 inches (3.6 cm) by 1-3/8 inches (3.6 cm). The festoons drape down 1-7/8 inches (4.8 cm) from the top chain.

Condition: Very good condition; light wear overall commensurate with age and use. There is a more modern hook at one end. The fittings between the clusters are of base metal and can be replaced if desired.

Date: Circa 1810.

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