Here we have the highly coveted Riviere.... This one is especially grand as not only is it longer than most, it has its original attached drop pendant. Of all Georgian necklaces, the Riviere is my personal favorite. Generally they were short, some only 12-14" in length and were chokers. They were widely popular and strung together with a line of faceted gems including diamonds or foil backed pastes. When they first developed this style in the late 17th Century, settings were close backed. Later versions had open back settings. When this is worn, it looks like a glittering stream of gems wrapped around the neck. Riviere means river in French. Some ornate examples such as this necklace, had additional gems dangling from the main necklace... This Is the ornate, more wonderful version.
These stones are not paste, these are genuine, professionally tested ruby red garnets. Each stone is flat faceted and foil backed. The garnets are collet set in silver which my jeweler has professionally tested to be 950. With such a high silver content, it does not tarnish quickly which is wonderful.. He has a very high-tech machine and simply scans the metal. It is much like a scanner you would see at a department store. The tongue in groove clasp has professionally tested as 12K yellow gold.
In the book I frequently brag about and actually refer to it as 'my Georgian Bible' Georgian Jewellery 1714 ~ 1830 by Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collings dedicate 4 full pages to the riviere. They state "The most timeless Georgian night-time necklace was the diamond riviere - literally a river of light ~ as simple and beautiful now as it was then. Tradition has it that the Riviera in the South of France was so called because from out at sea, on your yacht, the sparkling lights of the Cote d'Azur looked like a glittering necklace. Rivieres of paste or colored precious and semi-precious stones set in gold were also highly effective. They were frequently made with detachable matching pendants and were usually foiled unless the stones were of such a quality as to not require it. Unlike more intricate necklaces, fabulous examples of rivieres seem to have escaped the fate of being broken up and redesigned, perhaps because they were so enduringly lovely they never went out of style."****
The necklace is in pristine condition with no apologies to be made. There is not a single nick to any of the stones. In a photo I am posting, it looks like one stone may have a nick.. That is simply a trick of light and it is the facet on the stone. I have triple checked this with my jeweler's hood. There are also no dings or dents to the backs of the silver collet mounts. They are slightly puffy which is a wonderful indicator of age.
The necklace and pendant are completely original. The safety chain was very tired. I had my jeweler replace it with an old silver pull back clasp safety. The chain used is from the 20's and is unmarked but tested sterling.
This necklace is circa 1800 ~ Likely French in Origin
The necklace measures a wonderful 15 1/2" long. The pendant dangles 1 3/4" long x 7/8" across its widest portion. Each of the 34 individual garnets measures 9 x 7 mm's. There are 34 garnets in the necklace portion, including a slightly deeper garnet in the clasp. There are 13 multi-sized garnets in the drop pendant. If for some reason, not quite long enough, there is a very simple solution. Simply email me and I have a few idea's..
I have only had the pleasure of having 4 other Rivière necklaces and bracelets in the past 20 years. They are not an easy find. Most are tucked into personal and private collections for good reason.
Please take the time to enlarge the photo's. It is a grand necklace and these are very scarcely offered for sale. Questions are always welcome and encouraged. ~ Enjoy ~
*** Book reference ~ Georgian Jewellery 1714 ~ 1830 by Ginny Redington Dawes with Olivia Collings
Please Note: The box is for display only. Also, you may be seeing finger touch prints on the stones. My camera is very sensitive. All stones are smooth and perfect..
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