Art Nouveau jewelry at its absolute finest, this rare necklace employs an exceptionally sized stylized image of a swan accented with plique à jour enameling.
Plique à jour is one of the most magical forms of enameling in which a pierced metal frame akin to stained glass is used is infilled with colored enamels. No backing is used and light can pass through the panels.
All in silver, from the swan's delicate curved neck and beak is suspended a 7 to 8 mm freshwater gray plum baroque pearl.
The body is delineated using the visual concept of space. All the fragile-appearing wings in shades of plum and violet enamel display feathers using this plique à jour method.
The head and face of the swan are detailed in silver and a handmade silver Figaro type chain finishes the period piece.
The wings display a gradient of plum violet tones from lighter at the edges, to a deeper hue to the interior. As this is most likely German in origin, it is a Jugendstil movement piece, as the Art Nouveau period from the country is termed.
Historical Note: Most do not know it, but a great deal of the Art Nouveau jewelry retailed in Paris and other major European cities in the early 1900s was actually created in Germany in the city of Pforzheim.
A major center for jewelry production, pieces were created that were then retailed in cities far and wide. From the more mundane to the fabulous, a bevy of skilled houses created these masterworks of design and artistry.
See the book Jugendstil-Schmuck // Art Nouveau Jewellery from Pforzheim on pages 266 - 271 for similar types of enamel work and designs.