Art Nouveau Antique French Cross Taille d'épargne Gold Fill on Black Enamel & Brass - Christian Budded or Celtic Cross - Excellent Condition
Over the years I've collected a wide variety of Christian crosses. When I was young, a cross was the only jewellery we were allowed to wear to school..! Hence a lifetime interest and collection commenced..!
I've long collected French antique and vintage jewellery and collected this lovely example on a trip to the French countryside. It would have been made in the late 19th century or early 20th century. This Cross is known as a 'budded cross'. This means a cross with circles or discs on the end of each arm. Budded crosses can be fashioned with anywhere from a single to five buds per cross end, each arrangement having its own symbolism. This one is the most common version, having three 'buds', which represent the Trinity: God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
It is a lovely example of an Art Nouveau era Christian cross pendant It is crafted in thick buttery coloured French Gold Fill and decorated in black enamel - using the 'taille d'épargne' process. This is a variation of champlevé enamelling whereby engraved lines forming a design are incised into the metal and are filled with opaque enamel - usually black. This technique was often used to decorate bracelets, watch cases, chatelaines and mourning jewellery. I have not seen another example of a cross pendant.
This is a lovely example, with intricate botanical themed scrollwork set into the black enamel. It is in very good order.
Marks: It is unmarked. My jeweller confirms it is French Gold Fill over Brass.
Dimensions: The cross has a total hanging length of just under 2.5 inches (6cm) including the bail and jump ring, and is just over 1.25 inch (3.5cm) at its widest. It weighs a nice solid 7.2 grams.
Condition: This Cross is in excellent antique condition. I don't think it has been worn very often. There are only a couple of teeny tiny fleabite chips to the black enamel - only visible under strong magnification. The thick gold fill has a couple of small marks and one tiny scratch, none of which are visible to the naked eye. The yellow gold fill has lovely aged patina - I haven't cleaned it. It appears more 'yellow' under the photography lights than it does in natural light. It has a very nice solid feel.
Overall, a very fine example of a French enamel Art Nouveau era Christian Cross. Wonderful for a collector of French antique jewellery, or a beautiful Confirmation gift.
Australian tracked shipping is $10.00. Overseas tracked shipping is $20. (This is the minimum available postage with tracking from Australia. I do not make any profit from postage.)
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