Kirsten's Corner

15K Gold Art Nouveau Plique-à-Jour Diamond and Pearl Necklace


A classic Art Nouveau design, this 15k rose gold necklace features stunning plique-à-jour, Rose Cut diamonds, and beautiful pearls. The centerpiece of the necklace is articulated, hinged in two places so that the flower and pearl drops dangle freely. Three plique-à-jour leaves are translucent—the loveliest matte soft green that fades into subtle purple highlights, clearly done by a master. Each cell of the leaf is filled with plique, with a white metal (platinum or white gold) creating contrast in the center of the leaf. Inside are a channel of bead set Rose Cut diamonds. A flower is suspended from the leaves, with multi-tones of peach to pale yellow that glow against the gold, with a prong-set diamond as its piston. The design work loops over, turning the bail into a scrolling foliate. The 15k gold appears rosy, as it has an incredible patina that shimmers with various hues of pink, gold, and green. 

“Plique-à-jour” translates from French as “letting in daylight” and is a charming technique used in jewelry throughout the 20th century. To create this effect, colored, transparent enamel is suspended between gold backless cells to allow light to illuminate the piece with vibrant colors, similar to a stained glass window.

The flower hangs from a 15k gold classic alternating link chain that was made popular during the Art Nouveau and Art Deco eras. It is delicate and indicative of the time period. Unmarked, but acid tests as 15k. It is original to the piece. 

The necklace comes in its original box, marked with the 220 Regent Street London address of the infamous Mappin Brother’s retail store. The store was incorporated with Mappin & Webb, a renown jewelry company founded in 1775, that has reached the status of Court Jeweler—the highest honor in the jewelry industry. Mappin & Webb is still the Court Jeweler to the royal British family today. 

The chain is 16 1/2”. From the top of the bail to the bottom of the last pearl measures 2 1/2”, and the pendant is 1” across at its widest point.  The piece weighs 10.15 grams. There are four baroque pearls, and one round in the center, of varying sizes that average to be 3.5 x 5 mm. There is a 2mm Old Mine Cut diamond in the center of the flower, and 17 Rose Cut diamonds in the leaf that range from .75mm- 1 mm. The white metal in the center has not been acid tested, but is most likely white gold or platinum, as both metals were popularly used during the Art Nouveau era. 

A poetic piece that would make a beautiful bridal necklace, or lovely addition to any jewelry collection. 

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