A very rare gold, enamel and diamond plaque giardinetti bracelet with antique pearls, dating to approximately 1790 to 1810. Beginning in the 18th century, the term "giardinetti", Italian for `little garden', was used for jewelry made to resemble small bouquets or sprays of flowers. Often the flowers were created from various colored gems and set into rings. Brooches were also common. In this case the central plaque is set with a silver `vase' or bouquet. The central diamond is rose cut, making use of the natural pyramid form of the diamond, surrounded by 36 smaller rose diamonds, set in a foil-backed setting against a midnight blue enamel ground. The blue enamel is framed in white. The tab clasp is decorated with matching enamel. The pieces are joined by 24 strands of antique seed pearls.
The matching blue and white enamel plaques are typically English in style. The pearls are from the same period, though the bracelet has been restrung on stronger thread for greater durability and security. See Collings/Dawes "Georgian Jewellery" pages 120 and 121 for similar examples of this type of enamel work. They cite that a "pair of diamond bracelets with centres of rose cut diamond royal ciphers on blue enamel were given by George III to the Countess Howe in 1794."*
The gold is 15 karat, though unmarked; the central diamond measures 5.3mm x 4.7mm approx.; each plaque measures 1.5cm square (each metal piece just under 2cm square); 7cm circumference around the wrist. A safety chain is also in place and can be removed if desired (the bracelet snaps securely shut). Otherwise the bracelet slips over the wrist unclasped. The chain can also be replaced easily with a longer one to accommodate if necessary. Condition: remarkably perfect! No chips, losses or repairs, some minor superficial scratching commensurate with age and use. This bracelet should be worn with care and never exposed to water.
*Dawes, Collings, "Georgian Jewellery: 1714-1830", page 120, c.2007