The art of enameling dates back to fourth century BCE Greek jewelry. Over the next two millennia Switzerland has developed a reputation as having produced superb enamelists.
With this history the most esteemed of these Swiss masters frequently moved to the large city centers of Europe such as Paris or London to practice the art. Consequently the term “Swiss enamel” was used to describe the style of the technique.
Unquestionably exquisite, the ethereal rendering depicts a waterfront view of Chillon Castle located on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. A medieval fortress, the castle is said to be the major influence for “The Little Mermaid”, the Disney film.
Polychromatic enamels, ranging in color from sky blue to verdant evergreen, utilize light and shadow to create a wondrously ideal yet realistic view of an actual edifice hundreds of years in age. Even a sailboat is rendered on the right.
The plaque is set with a 14k gold bezel and placed within an ornate yellow gold surround featuring delicate twisted wire work and granulation in a series of levels. On the reverse is the name Chillon rendered in enamel.
Formerly a brooch, the enamel plaque and surround are original. The shank was added at a later date.