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ONE aspect of the present subject, “jewelry in pictures” more attractive perhaps than any other, is that which concerns the representation of personal ornaments in pictures. Scarcely as yet have pictures been fully appreciated from the point of view of their utility to antiquaries or the light they throw upon matters of historical inquiry.

The important part which from the fifteenth century onward they have played in connection with the subject of jewelry is sufficiently attested by the number of times they have already been referred to during the course of the present inquiry. The truth, reality, and accuracy of the artists’ work has eminently contributed to the value of these pictures.

A sympathetic way of seeing things and reproducing them and a fine feeling for naturalistic detail is characteristic of all the work of the painters of early times, when a strength of realism made its wholesome influence universally felt. Such works, while they display the grandeur and magnificence of former ages and point out the fashions and customs of our ancestors, show in detail not only the bright splendor of patterned draperies in many materials, but also the shimmer of goldsmith’s work in the form of a variety of actual ornaments, now for the most part entirely lost.

In this way they set before us details unnoticed by chroniclers, and convey clearer ideas than can be attained by reading the most elaborate descriptive inventories. The special capability of the early painters for representing articles of jewelry need merely be alluded to again, seeing the close connection, already shown, that always existed between them and the goldsmiths, in whose workshops most of them passed their apprenticeship.

Every jeweled ornament figured in their works is, in fact, designed with the full knowledge of a goldsmith versed in his craft. The artists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are notorious for the extreme and elaborate minuteness of their painting of jewels. In the portraits of the time careful accuracy in depicting ornaments was the duty, and evidently the delight, of’ the painter. In every early picture the various details of costume and jewelry are rendered with scrupulous care and refinement. Though placed in the most prominent and decorative positions, jewelry was never, in the best works, allowed to intrude or to occupy an exaggerated place in the composition.

For however minutely defined these accessories may be, they are so fused into the general design that they are only apparent if one takes the trouble to look for them. In addition to recognized masterpieces, there exists a vast number of pictures obviously not by the first masters, which, though of only moderate quality, do not actually offend by their inferiority. These equally well serve to illustrate details of jewelry and dress.

In a picture of the first order such details, of importance in themselves, sink into insignificance beside the splendid qualities of a work of art: in less important pictures the ornamental accessories are all in all. It would be of great value to students if all public collections that possess costumes and ornaments could bring together-as has been done with remarkable success in the Germanic Museum at Nuremberg-series of portraits specially chosen to illustrate these details, such portraits, like the actual articles of dress and jewelry, being, of course, old ones, not modern copies.

We may state, in general, that jewels figured in portraits are to be relied upon as being the actual objects possessed by the persons represented. All the early painters displayed, as has been said, a special love for jewel forms. They not only took their beautiful models as they found them, but being themselves mostly masters of the jeweler’s craft, they devoted much attention to the adornment and the arrangement of the jewels of their models. It may be urged that painters are apt to indulge their fancy by decorating their sitters with jewels they do not possess, introduced to improve the color or arrangement of the picture, or introduced in accordance with orders, like those of the good Mrs. Primrose, who expressly desired the painter of her portrait to put in as many jewels as he could for the money, and “not to be too frugal of his diamonds in her stomacher and hair.

It is unlikely, on the contrary, that any of the early painters departed from their usual methods of truth, reality, and accuracy; or, considering the elaborate detail with which they depicted jewelry, that they ever specially invented it for the portrait in which it occurs. It is much more probable that they worked from what they saw: for masters of painting have in all ages worked from models in preference to carrying out their own designs.

It is to be observed that the presence or absence of gilding on jewelry often serves to distinguish between German and Flemish paintings. Holbein almost always employed gold upon golden objects, but in the works of other artists, so rich in elaborate detail, paint alone suffices to produce the effect. The artists of those days possessed a marvelous facility for imitating the brilliance of gold by color alone.

In examining the jewelry of sixteenth and seventeenth century portraits numbers of what appear to be black stones are frequently to be seen. These were evidently intended to represent diamonds. From early times, when the custom existed of improving, as it was considered, the color of all stones by the use of foils, diamonds—the old stones of Golconda and Brazil, different in color and quality from the diamonds of to-day—were usually backed with a black varnish composed of lamp-black and oil of mastic. This coloring of the diamond, which is alluded to by Cellini, would account for the intense and clear blacks and whites used by the artists of the time in depicting that precious stone.

In the work of some of the finest painters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, so masterly is the handling, that in the contemplation of broad effects one may fail to notice how much detail the artists were able to combine with such breadth. In fact the detail they displayed is hardly less precise than that of the earlier painters. Mr. Davies has some interesting remarks to make on the different modes of depicting jewelry adopted by first-class painters—by the one who paints it in detail and the other who treats it with freedom.

The first paints you, touch by touch, his chains, his bracelets, his tiara, link by link, and gem by gem, with precision so great that if you called in a fairly capable goldsmith, of little or no intelligence, he would use them as a pattern and produce you an exact facsimile. The second obtains his result by summarized knowledge, letting his line lose itself and find itself again, a flash on a link, a sparkle on a gem suggesting all to the eye with a completeness which is fully as complete as the literal word for word translation of the other man.

Call in a really intelligent goldsmith to this work and he would find it quite as easy as, or even easier than, the other to understand and reproduce from, but it would not do to make a tracing from, nor give as a pattern to one of his unintelligent apprentices. Very attractive and valuable guides to the jewelry of the early period are the early Flemish-Burgundian paintings and those of the Italian masters of the fifteenth century. The most fertile of sixteenth-century pictures for the present purpose are the Germans

in contemporary pictures.

In the second half of the sixteenth century and the early part of the seventeenth, the painters of the Low Countries especially excelled in the delineation of jewel forms. By these and by numerous followers of Holbein, many pictures were painted, and exist in England at the present day. The technique of the great Dutch and Flemish painters of the seventeenth century were not incompatible. The majority of pictures of the early part of the eighteenth century offer but slight indication of the jewelry of the time. had a set of postures (and ornaments too) which they applied to all persons indiscriminately.

Seeing the reliance that may be placed on the jewelry figured in the portraits of earlier times, it is not unnatural to expect such detail to be of considerable service in art criticism. In the identification of a portrait much may rest on the identification of its jewels. A portrait with the jewels actually owned by the subject, if not ‘ the rose’ (for it may be a copy of a lost original) has certainly been ‘ near the rose.’ ” But critics seldom think of examining the numerous extant royal and noble inventories and other documents such as wills containing lists of jewels, and of comparing the jewels described in them with those displayed in portraits.

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UNTIL the middle of the nineteenth century the peasants and natives of every country district of Europe wore modest gold and silver jewelry, of small pecuniary value, but of great artistic interest. Before this time peasant jewelry was seldom sought for, and comparatively unknown ; and collectors, better informed in other respects, did not think of saving it from the melting-pot. It then began to attract some of the attention it deserves.

This old peasant jewelry has of course all passed out of the hands of its original owners. The chief cause of its disappearance has been increased facilities for traveling, which resulted in jewelry fashioned wholesale in industrial centers being distributed to the remotest rural districts. The demands of the modern collector, and improvements in present-day taste among certain of the cultured classes, which have led to the adoption of old articles of jewelry for personal use, have also contributed to the disappearance of peasant jewelry.

The wiles of the dealer have induced peasants to yield up heirlooms, which, handed down for generations, have escaped the fate of the jewels of the wealthy and more fashionable. The great museums of art and industry springing up everywhere, especially in Germany, have all obtained a generous share of the spoil, and have preserved it from what, until lately, would have been inevitable destruction.

So completely in most parts has this old jewelry gone out of use among the peasant that hardly a trace remains of a once flourishing industry carried on by local craftsmen working on traditional lines, and by the artistic fashion of the moment. Machines driven by steam power have crushed out of existence skill to make things by hand, and the cold and monotonous production of the artisan has taken the place of the old work, whose peculiarly attractive character is due to its expressing the fresh ideas and inspiration of the artist.

The French peasant jewel par excellence is the cross. It is suspended from the neck by a velvet ribbon, and varies in form according to localities. Its size is often in proportion to the social condition of the wearer. Sometimes it attains considerable dimensions. Fixed upon the velvet ribbon, and drawing it together just above the cross is a slide in the form of a bow, rosette, or heart, and of the same style as the cross itself.

In many provinces of France, such as Savoy, gold is reserved exclusively for married women —custom having it that all their jewels should be of that metal. Silver, on the other hand, is often employed solely for girls’ jewelry possibly because it is considered the natural symbol of virginal purity, just as in ancient times it was consecrated to the virgin goddess, Diana.

The most interesting and perhaps the best-known French peasant jeweler is that of Normandy. The chief Norman jewel is the cross. The most usual form is that which occurs in the districts round St. L6. It is of silver, formed of five high bosses, four round and one pear-shaped, each set with a large foiled rock crystal.


This jewelry was cut and faceted into brilliant shapes, and further ornamented with sprays set with small crystals in rose form. The lower limb of the cross, pear-shaped, is hinged, so as to render it less liable to get bent or broken in wear. The spaces between the limbs are sometimes completely filled up with branched open-work set with small crystals. In the more northerly parts of France the cross is formed simply of large bosses set with crystals; but round about Rome we meet with an abundance of spray-work. Other crosses of considerable size are formed of thin plates of pierced gold. The shape of the cross is indicated simply by crystal bosses, but its form is almost lost in the outline of the jewel.

A favorite subject for representation is the Saint Esprit or Holy Dove. Employed as a breast – ornament or pendant, the Dove is either in gold or silver, mounted with crystals, or colored pastels set close together. It is suspended from an ornament of open knot design, with a rosette-shaped slide above. In its beak is a branch, spray, or bunch of grapes, generally of colored pastels.

Peasant jewelry ceased to be worn in Normandy about 1840, when native costume was given up. While Normandy relies chiefly on crystal quartz for its jewelry, other areas boast, of a variety of gems, such as garnets, opals, and zircons, which are of frequent occurrence in the volcanic rock of Central France.

The jewelry in some of these areas was mounted with cabochon stones in large high settings. Open-work circular pendants have a central boss with eight similar settings around. The Saint Esprit is also a popular jewel, but in these parts the form of the Dove is not completely carried out, the jewel being composed merely of five pear-shaped bosses to indicate the wings, body, head, and tail of the bird. It is to be observed that the patterns of the jewels here alluded to are not entirely original inventions of the peasantry.

As a matter of fact, they are often from precisely the same models as the jewelry in use in the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth century, and are very similar in style to the large series of original designs executed about that time by the Santini family of Florence. Their technique is also traditional. This is shown by the presence on many of the peasant jewels of Southern France, as well as of other districts, of the painted enamel which came in about 1640, and continued in use for upwards of a century.

While fashion has shifted scores of times since those days, types and styles of jewelry then set remained unchanged in these quarters until the great industrial revolution of the nineteenth century and the strange and universal decline of taste that accompanied it. Holland is one of the few countries that have retained their peasant jewelry. Not only is it displayed in abundance on festive occasions, such as weddings, but it is worn in everyday life by the well-to-do natives of the country districts.

Much jewelry is employed in Zealand. The country belles wear jutting out on either side of the lace cap curious corkscrew-like ornaments of gold, silver, or gilt metal on which they hang-pendants sometimes tipped with pearls. In the land of Goes a square gold ornament is pinned close to the face inside the lace halo that surrounds the head. Coral necklaces are worn, and jet ones for mourning. Boys have earrings and gold and silver buttons near the throat. The head-ornaments of North Holland and Utrecht consist of a broad thin band of gold or silver which encircles the skull and terminates at each end with the above-mentioned spiral ornaments. These bands are covered by a white muslin cap or by a cap decorated with colored designs.


The women of Netherlands display costly caps of gold beaten out to fit each individual head. In some areas the lace cap terminates with gold ornaments, and the coral necklace has clasps of gold filigree. Men and boys wear flat silver buttons on the coat and gold at the collar. At the waist is a pair of large hammered discs of silver. The natives of the fertile country of Finland possess vast stores of jewelry, generally of gold set with diamonds. Very attractive peasant ornaments are still in use in Belgium. Long pendent crosses are worn, with earrings to match. They are of open-work floral and scroll designs, and are mounted with small rosettes set with rose diamonds—silver rosettes being applied to gold ornaments, gold to silver ones.

The slide above the cross here forms part of the pendant, and is not, as in France, attached by the ribbon worn with it. The heart is not worn above the cross, as in France, but is used as a distinct ornament, as a rule in silver only. These open-work heart pendants, commonly found in France rarely elsewhere, have an opening in the center hung with a movable setting, and a hinged crown-shaped ornament above. Instead of a crown is sometimes two quivers and a bow—a love token.

Flemish jewels, unlike the French, are set entirely with rose diamonds. The peasant jewelry of Norway and Sweden is mainly of silver filigree. Precious stones do not take an important place in it. When used they are more often than not false, and are only sparingly applied for the sake of their color. Particularly characteristic of almost all the ornaments of these parts are numerous small concave or saucer-like pieces of metal, highly polished, or small flat rings. They are suspended by links, particularly from the large circular buckle which is the chief article of jewelry. Most ornaments are circular in plan. Besides being executed in filigree, many of them are embossed or else cast—a style of work admirably displayed on the huge silver-gilt crowns worn by Scandinavian brides. The peasant ornaments of Germany present many varieties of design. Silver filigree of various kinds is employed for almost all of them.

In the northern districts amber beads are naturally the commonest form of necklace, while hollow balls of silver are also worn strung together. Large flat hair-pins are used, the expanded heads of which are ornamented with raised filigree. Swiss peasant jewelry is largely composed of garnets or garnet-colored glass set in silver filigree.

So numerous are the different types of Italian peasant jewels that it is impossible to mention them all. Every small district, nay, every township, seems to have possessed ornaments that differed in some detail from those of its neighbors. Many of them display reminiscences of the antique. Their manufacture follows—or did till quite recent years—the old methods ; the natives of certain out-of-the-way districts still working in very much the same manner as the ancient Etruscans. All ornaments are somewhat voluminous. The head is uncovered, and presents an extensive field for hair-ornaments.

In some areas there is found all sorts of hair-pins, often a couple of dozen, stuck in nimbus fashion, and through crosswise is passed another pin with an oval head at each end. Earrings are likewise of considerable dimensions, but light in spite of their size. Their surfaces are very frequently set with seed pearls. The finest existing collection of Italian peasant jewelry is that in the Victoria and Albert Museum, purchased from Signor Castellani in 1867.

Of great beauty is the jewelry of the shores of the Adriatic, and that of the Greek Islands, probably made by descendants of the Venetian goldsmiths, and commonly known by the title of ” Adriatic” jewelry. It is of thin gold, on which are shallow seals filled with opaque enamels.


Crescent-shaped earrings are formed of pendent parts hung with double pearls. Dating from the seventeenth century are elaborate and delicate pendants in the shape of fully rigged ships enriched with painted enamel and hung with clusters of pearls. Beautiful work of a similar nature was also produced in Sicily. Hungarian and Spanish peasant ornaments have already been alluded to. In both these countries we find the native filigree enamel in sixteenth-century work, and painted enamel in that of the .seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Spanish jewelry frequently takes the form of pendent reliquaries. It is usually of stout silver filigree, bearing traces of Moorish design. The Moorish style is also felt on Portuguese jewelry, which displays in addition a certain amount of what appears to be Indian influence.

It is composed of gold filigree of very fine workmanship. Earrings and neck-chains are of such proportions that they reach respectively to the shoulders and the waist. In addition to the cross, star, heart, and crescent-shaped pendants are worn. A favorite form is one resembling an inverted artichoke. Openings are left in its surface, and within these spaces and on the edges of the jewel are hung little trembling pendants. Portuguese jewelry of the eighteenth century, largely set with crystal, is admirably represented in the Museum of Fine Arts at Lisbon.

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JEWELLERY of the nineteenth century presents a very variegated picture both as regards material and technique, as well as in the display of every conceivable style. It is not so much a particular character of its own that has marked the jewelry of each epoch of the century, as a peculiar form of reproduction or rather reconstruction of older styles of art, based for the most part on false traditions. The whole period was an eclectic one, and the majority of its productions—the result of nothing less than aimless hesitation and fruitless endeavor to revive the forms of the past—display at least doubtful taste. Throughout the greater part of the time France led the fashion, and every one of the political changes she underwent left its mark on her artistic productions. After the desolate epoch of the Revolution, under which the whole standard of jewelry was measurably lowered, a revival of something approaching luxury was experienced under the Directory.

This was succeeded about the year 1800, owing to the stimulating dominance of the First Consul, by circumstances of real luxury. The period dating from Napoleon’s accession to the Imperial Dignity four years later, till about 1814, was one of considerable importance in the history of jewelry.

The severe and academic influence of the leading-and most popular artist of the day, the painter David, and of his pupils, with their extravagant taste for the antique, was universally felt. Yet while the antique celebrated its triumph in all directions, the Empire failed to shake itself entirely free from eighteenth-century styles. As far indeed as jewelry was concerned, the classical revival cannot be said to have been altogether unhappy; for its ornaments are not without a certain charm.

Like all else, they breathed the spirit of the past, and are not less formal and rigid than the other art productions of the period. It was under the short-lived reign of the associated kings, termed the Directory, that the taste for the antique first became thoroughly dominant.

Jewelry of all kinds assumed classical forms. The few individuals who were fortunate enough to procure them wore ancient Greek and Roman jewels; the rest had to be content with facsimiles of objects discovered at Pompeii, or simple copies adapted from representations on early vase paintings, sculptures, or engraved gems.

So exaggerated became the enthusiasm for the antique that, following the lead of Madame Tallien and Madame Recamier, the fashionable s of the period adopted in its entirety, without regard for

differences of climate, what they deemed to be classical costume, and appeared on public promenades in Paris with un-stockinged feet in sandals that allowed them to exhibit jewels upon their toes. The affected classicism of the Republic and First Empire stimulated the use of engraved gems. Far from cameos and the less decorative intaglios being considered out of place with fine precious stones, they often occupied positions of honor, surrounded and mounted occasionally with important diamonds. In the majority of cases, however, they were used alone and were made up into special ornaments by themselves.


Antiques were worn when procurable, but the greater number of gems were of modern manufacture, carefully studied both as regards technique and style from ancient examples.Somewhat later, small mosaics, on which were figured classical subjects or buildings of ancient Rome, were also employed. These, together with cameos, generally on shell, were produced in quantities, particularly in Italy, where cameo cutters and mosaic workers still carry on a somewhat languishing trade in ornaments of this nature, Venice, Florence, and Rome sharing in the industry of mosaic jewelry ; Rome, Naples, and the whole of Southern Italy in that of cameos. The production of both kinds of objects is now in a sterilized condition. They have entirely lost their earlier qualities, for the reason that they find but little favor and have ceased to be worn by the upper classes. Except during the height of the First Empire the fashion for engraved gems never took a very thorough hold. Ladies have seldom a taste for archaeology.

If a few, in accordance with the current idea, affected a sober and refined style of ornament, the majority soon wearied of the burden of cameos in the necklace and bracelet, and preferred sparkling stones to the delicate cutting of the gem. The general and instinctive preference for brilliant jewels did more than anything to kill the attempted employment of antique forms and designs.

As regards to technique, the metal-work of the early nineteenth century generally displayed considerable poverty of material. The gold, if not pinch beck imitation, was usually thin, light, and of low quality, with simple designs in the form of clusters of grapes. Borders of leaves and flowers in the antique style were stamped and chased sometimes in open-work, with small rose-shaped ornaments applied. Granulated, beaded, and purled work was much employed, and the surface of the

metal was often matted.

Artistic effect in chased work was produced by the use of ornamental inlays, or rather overlays, of colored gold. Actual jewel-work and settings, as a rule, displayed good quality of workmanship. The general tendency lay in the direction of the colored stones popular in ancient times—the topaz, peridot, aquamarine, and amethyst; together with precious stones, such as emeralds, rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, and with pearls. The latter were generally reserved only for the most sumptuous ornaments, but were occasionally used in conjunction with jewels of less value. The stones most commonly used were carnelians, moss-agates, turquoises, garnets, pink and yellow topazes, as well as coral, mingled together.

Wedgwood ware and its imitations, popular in the latter years of the eighteenth century, continued for some time to meet with favor, while paste jewelry was also worn to some extent. On every species of jewelry the taste for the antique was clearly visible. Ornaments for the head took the form of frontlets and diadems, hair-combs, hair-pins, triple chains, and strings of pearls. Earrings were in general use, together with necklaces, brooches, bracelets, rings, and girdles. The chief head-ornaments were wide metal combs, fixed in the hair in such a manner as to be visible from the front. The general form of the Empire comb, with its upright rows of pearls or coral, is well known, since a number of examples exist. At the same time frontlets were worn on the upper part of the forehead and over the hair. These, enriched with pearls, cameos, or precious stones, took the form of broad bands or coronets.

Another ornament, which did not, however, come into fashion till about 1820, was a band round the head, with a jewel in the middle of the forehead. It was generally a fine gold chain, but might be made of velvet ribbon or silken cord, or strings of beads. The origin of its title has been given in connection with Italian jewelry of the fifteenth century.

Cameos and moss-agates entered largely into the composition of necklaces as well as the various colored stones mentioned above. Cameos often assumed considerable proportions. They were occasionally set with precious stones, and were linked together with fine chains. Bracelets were much worn, three on each arm: one on the upper part of the arm, a second just above the elbow, and a third upon the wrist. They were usually composed of a number of small chains, or even a band of velvet; while the clasp was formed by a cameo, or else an amethyst, peridot, or topaz set in stamped and pierced gold.

Girdles for the most part were fashioned in the same manner as bracelets, with a large cameo on the clasp. The pictures in the gallery at Versailles afford perhaps the best idea of ornaments in the Empire style ; since jewelry is more clearly represented on French portraits than on any others of the time. Among the most striking of such portraits are those of Marie Pauline, Princess Borghese, by Lefevre, of Caroline Buonaparte, Queen of Naples, by Madame Vigce-Lebrun, and of Madame Mere, by Gerard. The first has a high comb and bandeau, earrings, and girdle, all decorated with cameos, the second of pearls and cameos, and the third a head-ornament mounted with a single large cameo. The coronation of Napoleon in 1804 furnished the painter David with the subject of a picture unrivaled in its time which is exhibited in the Louvre. This grandiose production, besides being a truly epic rendering of a great historical event, serves as a valuable document in the history of jewelry, in that it represents jewelry of the most magnificent kind carried by Josephine, the princesses, and the ladies of honor.

The Empress is shown wearing comb and diadem of precious stones, brilliant earrings, and a bracelet on the wrist formed of two rows of jewels united with a cameo. Her suite have, besides, necklaces and girdles mounted in several cases with cameos. Josephine herself possessed a perfect passion for engraved gems, and she actually induced Napoleon to have a number of antique cameos and intaglios removed from the gem collection in the Royal Library and made up into a complete collection of jewelry for her own use.

A German specialty of the expiring Empire was the cast-iron jewelry, brought into favor largely on account of the prevailing scarcity of gold and silver. A foundry for its production was first set up in 1804 at Berlin, where articles of great fineness were cast in sand molds. In the year 1813, the time of the rising against the Napoleonic usurpation, more than eleven thousand pieces of iron jewelry were turned out, and among them five thousand crosses of the new order of the Iron Cross. In that year appeared the well-known iron rings. During the War of Liberation, when every man joined the Prussian regiments to fight against the French, the patriotic ladies who remained behind laid at the Altar of the Fatherland their valuable jewels, which were melted down for the benefit of the national war-chest.

For the articles thus surrendered they received in exchange from the Government iron finger rings. In addition to crosses and rings, other jewels, such as diadems, necklaces, brooches, and bracelets, were executed in cast iron, open-worked and in relief. Complete collections comprising a comb, necklace, earrings, and bracelets are not infrequently met with, and the name of the manufacturer is sometimes found stamped on them. Most of the work is in the antique taste, and is occasionally adorned with classical heads in the manner of Wedgwood and Tassie. Considering the material and method of production, the fineness and lace-like delicacy of this iron jewelry is little less than marvelous.

Another kind of nineteenth-century ornament, particularly popular in the first half of the century, was hair jewelry. It was favored possibly in some cases less by inclination than by that necessity which had originally led the way for the use of iron and other less valuable materials. Finger rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watch-chains were plaited of the hair of the departed, brooches and medallions mounted with it, and even ornamental landscapes constructed of strands of human hair. Hair was worn as a gift of affection from the living, but it was chiefly employed for mourning or memorial jewelry.

It will be referred to again when mourning jewelry is dealt with. We enter about the year 1830 into the Romantic period—the days of the heroines of Balzac, the days when Byron and Ossian were a la mode, the days of a fancy chivalry and medieval sentimentality SirWalter Scott, and above all of the Gothic revival. Gothic motives, rampant in architecture, make their appearance also on book bindings, furniture, and other things, and influence jewelry to a certain degree.

Among the leaders of the movement so far as it affected jewelry were the goldsmiths Froment Meurice, and Robin, whose productions, executed in accordance with the Romantic taste, assumed the form of armored knights, on foot, or fully equipped on horseback, lords and ladies in medieval costume, and jewels which took the shape of compositions of a similar “elegant” nature. At this period cameos were still worn, but seldom of strictly classical character. Sentimental hair jewelry likewise continued, as did the iron jewelry.

The latter, however, no longer displayed classical forms, but debased Gothic designs. Chains of various kinds were in considerable favor. They were usually looped up at intervals with circular or oblong plaques of thin and colored gold set amid small turquoises and garnets. With the development of machinery appeared thin gold-work, ornamented with stamped and pressed designs. Work of this kind, characteristic of its first decades, extended far into the nineteenth century.

As far as men’s jewelry is concerned there is little or nothing to chronicle. Strangely enough, the masculine delight in splendid jewels that had existed up to the end of the eighteenth century, came all at once to an end, along with that older world on the ruins of which Napoleon rose. Almost all that remained to them was the bunch of seals, often of considerable size, that hung by a silken cord from the fob.

It is true that occasionally beaus and macaronis actually wore earrings. But these were not employed solely as ornaments, but largely as the result of a fanciful idea, still prevalent in certain quarters, of the value of such objects against diseases of the eye. Fashion next, about the middle of the century, harked back to rococo, and imitated the style of Louis XV. It was rococo of a kind, but lay as far from the eighteenth century as did Romantic Gothic from the Gothic of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Design for the most part was deplorably bad, defects in this direction being passed off under a glitter of stones. Instead of the close setting which had so long satisfied the Jewell, open setting for precious stones became universal. Countless old and valuable ornaments perished. The diamonds and other precious stones were picked out of them and transferred to newer settings, and the beautiful old metal-work was ruthlessly melted down.

Many fine jewels during the course of the nineteenth century have likewise been spoiled and reduced in value by their owners attempting to adapt them to a prevailing fashion. Vast is the number of family treasures that have undergone the fate of mounting. It is to be hoped that the new-born

interest in the beautiful work of earlier craftsmen may help to save what is left from the same sort of destruction that the ancient churches of our land have undergone as the result of ill-judged ” restoration.”


Long prior to the developments that have taken place in recent years, attention had been attracted to the artistic qualities of gold and an impetus given to the manipulation of the simple material. It was early in the “sixties” that notice was first drawn to the gold jewelry then being executed in Rome, and the discoveries that had been effected in the working of the wrought metal by the firm of Castellani. The head of this famous family was the goldsmith Fortunate Pio Castellani, one of the best-known jewelers and dealers of his day.

In 1814, at an early age, he started a business in Rome, which he developed about 1826 on the lines of the antique work. The process of production of the old granulated gold jewelry of the ancient Etruscans—that in which the surface is covered with minute grains of gold set with absolute regularity—had long been a puzzle and problem to jewelers.

Castellani was deeply interested in the lost art, and searched Italy through to find some survival of it. At last in St. Angelo in Vado, a village of the Apennines, in the corner of the Umbrian Marches, he found a caste of local goldsmiths who had preserved it in what seemed to be an unbroken tradition. He transported some of them to Rome, and together with his sons Alessandro and Augusto succeeded in imitating the tiny golden grains of the Etruscans and soldering them on to the surface of jewels. The work he accomplished in this direction has become famous all the world over.

In 1851 Fortunate retired, and on his death in 1865 his property was divided—Augusto retaining the business, Alessandro setting himself up as a collector and dealer. Augusto, born 1829, carried on the traditions of his father’s atelier, and was afterwards promoted to the Directorship of the Capitoline Museum. Alessandro, the elder brother, was perhaps one of the most striking personalities of his age. Born in 1824, he first assisted his father; but his political opinions, which led him to take an active part in the revolutionary movement in Rome in 1848,and implicated him in the conspiracy of 1852, resulted in his imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo, but successfully feigning madness, he was liberated and sent out of the Pontifical States.

He then proceeded to travel about exploiting the productions of the Casa Castellani. Gradually he devoted himself to archaeological pursuits. His knowledge of these matters was profound, and he became the finest expert of his day. He was continually collecting, and dealt largely, his chief customers being the museums of Europe and America. The finest of the antique jewelry in the British Museum was purchased from him in 1872-1873. A few years before, in 1867, his unrivaled series of peasant ornaments, gathered together from all parts of Italy, was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum, which also made large purchases at the sale that took place after his death in 1883. The art of filigree and granulation practiced by Castellani was carried to still greater perfection by another Italian, Carlo Giuliano, who was largely indebted to the discoveries of his compatriot.

Examples of his work, with that of Castellani, are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Since his death, his business house in London has been continued by his sons. Another Italian who has surpassed both Castellani and Giuliano in the reproduction of the antique is Melillo of Naples. His jewelry, though “copied closely from ancient models, has a certain modern cachet” and is in fact “a translation of the most refined ancient art into modern language.” An eminent English jeweler, whose name is worthy of record, was Robert Phillips of London, who died in 1881. He also came under the influence of Castellani.

At the same time he was responsible for the production of some of the most original work executed in England during the Victorian era. A forerunner in France of the modern movement in artistic jewelry, and one entitled to a high place in the history of the art, was the goldsmith Lucien Falize (b. 1838), who was a partner with M. Bapst, crown jeweler of the Second Empire. He succeeded Bapst as official goldsmith to the French Government, and died in 1897. Another great French jeweler was Eugene Fontenay, author of the important history of jewelry, who died in 1885.

Side by side with the improvement in taste which during the last few years has prompted people to preserve old jewelry, and a genuine love for its peculiar and indefinable attractions which has induced them to collect it, the present age has witnessed a truly remarkable revival in the artistic production of articles of personal ornament.

The general awakening that has taken place in the industrial arts has nowhere made its influence more strongly felt than in respect to jewelry. Owing to the example set by the highest artistic spirits, which has affected even the ordinary productions of commerce, there has arisen a new school of jewelry, the residue of which, when the chaff of eccentricity on the one hand and coarse workmanship on the other is winnowed from it, consists in works which combine the charm and sense of appropriateness requisite to objects of personal adornment with qualities that mark them as individual works of art.

The ornaments of the past reveal an elemental truth of art which it may be to the ultimate advantage of the decorative artificer of modern times to study and to imitate. They show, particularly in their most refined periods, that the simplest materials and the simplest modes of decoration can be associated with beauty of form and purity of design, and that the value of a personal ornament does not consist solely in the commercial cost of the materials, but rather in the artistic quality of its treatment. In the revival of the arts in the latter part of the nineteenth century the artistic styles of the past began to be carefully studied, and for the first time were brought together and exhibited as models. They have undoubtedly exercised a profound influence both on design and technique.

It is well at the same time to remember, that personal ornaments, as indeed all productions of former times, which are thus shown in museums, must not be reckoned with from one standpoint only. The intention of their public display is to afford material for instruction, investigation, and inspiration, for the craftsman, the student, and the ” man in the street.” Their function in this respect is not only to produce artists and craftsmen, or even connoisseurs, but to inspire the lay public with a love of beauty, and to induce a divine discontent with the ugliness with which it is surrounded. Though it is very well to use and reproduce the forms and motives of the past, an indefinite persistence in that attitude is liable to be construed as a confession of aesthetic sterility. But while empty revivals and false adaptations are to be rejected, the reckless race after originality, resulting in the eccentricity which is so rife in modern art, should especially be avoided. It is the desire for originality instead of a modest devotion to fine workmanship, “a love for the outrageous and the bizarre, and a lack of proportion, both in form and in choice of material,” that has ruined much of the jewelry produced under the this period of time Art movement.

If color and form produced by a study of harmony and a limited appeal to nature could be united to elaboration and minuteness of finish, with symmetrical arrangements freed from purely mechanical detail of ornament; if more insight could be obtained into the spirit which produced those splendid fragments that have survived from the past, there would be a gradual return to a style of work wherein the inherent preciousness of material might be accompanied by a fuller appreciation of its artistic possibilities, and a way opened to the restoration of the art of the goldsmith to the honorable place it once held.

Apart from matters of design the new movement has resulted in great changes in the artistic aspect of jewelry. In distinction to the tendency hitherto prevalent which bids the metal mounting of jewelry to be rendered almost invisible, the working of gold and silver has once again become a matter of some moment. A second change, due to the study of old models, has been the revival of enameling—an art which offers many an opportunity for the exercise of the craftsman’s taste and skill, and has once again resumed its proper position as handmaid to the goldsmith. A third change has been the wider choice and employment of stones. Till recent years only those stones that are reckoned as fine—the diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire—have been allowed a place in jewelry.

Though their commercial value can never be set aside, precious stones are now valued, as they were in Renaissance times, for the sake of their decorative properties. The taste for color effects in jewelry has resulted in the adoption of certain gems not very precious, yet sufficiently rare, while the artistic value of broken color in gems is beginning to be appreciated in purely commercial productions. There is now a welcome tendency to use such stones as the aquamarine, peridot, zircon, topaz, tourmaline and others of beautiful color and high decorative value. For a precious stone, as has been truly said, ” is not beautiful because it is large, or costly, or extraordinary, but because of its color, or its position in some decorative scheme.”

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Using Ornaments Made Of Christmas Beads During Christmas Festival — Fashion Beads and Accessories

During Christmas day each and everybody wants to have a fancy ornaments especially made of Christmas beads. Beads are well known for making glittering ornaments and that is why we always like to make our Christmas ornaments using them. In this case, we have to use Christmas beads to for making our ornaments. On the […]

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THE jewelry that came into fashion towards the close of the seventeenth century and flourished during the greater part of the eighteenth follows the style known as “rococo.” Rococo ornament with its assemblage of rich fantastic scrolls and crimped conventional shell work wrought into irregular and indescribable forms, though overcharged and inorganic, yet possesses certain beauty and artistic master pieces. Like most objects in this style, rococo jewelry has a real decorative charm. But the title of baroque or rococo is really less adapted to jewelry than to other art productions of the time, for jewelry itself never indulged in the same extravagant use of this form of ornament. Except for slight changes in design, eighteenth-century jewelry, as far as its general form is concerned, does not at first display any marked variation from that of the previous century.

A charming but somewhat superficial sentimentality expressed by means of pastoral subjects results in ornaments on which tokens of friendship are represented in all manner of forms. The naturalistic tendency in ornament is still strong, but is less striking than it was before, since feather, ribbon, and other conventional designs make their appearance, mingled with flowers and leaves. These rococo jewels, on account of the setting and arrangement of the precious stones which entirely govern their composition, are in their way master pieces both technically and artistically.

Unlike the earlier jewels, one cannot help regarding them rather more as accessories to costume than as independent works of art. The general character of the jewelry of the period with which we are now dealing may best be judged by a notable series of original designs in color for such objects executed by the Santini family of Florence, and now preserved in the Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

This remarkable collection comprises upwards of 382 separate designs, which are mostly constructed in a manner best calculated to show off the brilliant character and size of the stones and pearls, on which their effect mainly depends. A large proportion of the drawings take the form of what at this period constituted a set of jewels, composed of three items of similar design—a bow-shaped breast ornament hung with a cross, and a pair of earrings en suite.

In place of the breast ornament is sometimes a V-shaped corsage in imitation of hooks and eyes or braid work, set with various precious stones. The whole work shows that in the eighteenth century the stone cutter and stone setter had practically supplanted the artist in precious metals. In the metal-work of the settings—in most cases a matter of minor consideration—gold is employed for colored stones and silver for diamonds. The general tendency is towards the rococo, but this type of ornament is here by no means strongly marked. In other directions, however, it is more apparent, and already in the seventeenth century we meet with traces of it in engraved designs for jewelry. The best work of this kind is that of Friedrich Jacob Morisson, a jeweler who worked at Vienna from about 1693 to 1697.

He was one of the most popular jewelers of the day, and his plates, which are rich in motives for ornaments in precious stones and fine metal-work, found a wide circulation. They comprise aigrettes, earrings, brooches, pendants, bracelets, rings, and seals. Other Germans who have left designs in the same style are F. H. Bemmel (1700) of Nuremberg, D. Baumann (1695), Johann Heel (1637-1709), and J. F. Leopold (1700)—all of Augsburg.

French designers led European taste in jewelry as in furniture, and published a number of important designs. The most remarkable are those of the master-goldsmith Jean Bourguet of Paris, whose models for earrings, pendants, and clasps, dated 1712 and 1723, are set with large faceted stones, and have their backs chased or enameled with flower designs. His designs for enamel-work published as models for jewelers’ apprentices, contains among other patterns a series of twelve rings set with large faceted stones ; beside each ring is a design for the enamel decoration of its shoulder: ”

Of Italian designs for jewelry set with precious stones in the rococo style we may note those of G. B. Grondoni of Genoa, who worked at Brussels about 1715, Carlo Ciampoli (1710), and D. M. Albini, whose designs were published in 1744. The publication in London of several series of designs proves that England was not far behind the Continent in the production of high-class personal ornaments.

Among the most important pattern-books for jewelry, are those of Simon Gribelin, who was born in Paris in 1662, and worked chiefly in London, where he died in 1733. His work includes A book of Ornaments and A Book of Ornaments useful to Jewelers, etc., 1697. These were republished in 1704.

The patterns are chiefly for seals, and for breast ornaments and clasps set with rose-cut stones in rococo settings. About the same time similar pattern-books were published. One book contains designs for buckles” seals, watch-keys, a chatelaine with a watch and another with pendants and bow-shaped breast ornaments hung with drop pearls.

An isolated phenomenon in the midst of the universal love for precious stones that then dominated the productions of the jewelers, some jewelers carried the traditions of the sixteenth century far into the eighteenth.

All the processes of the craftsmen, of whose technique possessed a fine knowledge worked with wonderful care and exactitude—though the productions naturally betray in design the period of their execution. Some jewelers exercised considerable influence on their contemporaries, more especially with regard to the revival of the art of enameling in the second half of the century, when jewelry made a notable advance in the time of Louis XVI.

A change in style was first experienced on the arrival in power of Madame de Pompadour, who led the way in that coquettish return to simple conditions of life which showed itself in the pastorals of the Louis Quinze epoch. It resulted in a preference for simple gold ; this metal, colored by alloys such as platinum and silver being at most only set off by enamel painting.

This later rococo period, as far as its technique is concerned, is one which has never been equaled either before or since. An event of importance in the history of jewelry, as of art generally, was the discovery in 1755 of the city of Pompeii, succeeding that in 1713 of Hercu-laneum, buried for centuries beneath the ashes of Vesuvius.

The journeys of artists to Italy and to Naples, and the interest aroused thereby in ancient art, a weariness with the mannerism of rococo ornament, and the whim of fashion, gradually transformed jewelry like other decorative arts, and resulted in the classicism of the style of Louis XVI.

Antique forms as they then were known showed themselves in a very charming manner in well-balanced jewels, where different colored gold took the form of classical motives in the midst of ribbons, garlands, and the pastoral subjects dear to the previous epoch.

Enamel returned into fashion, and accomplished its chief triumph with painting in fine transparent tones over gold. In conjunction with the art of gem setting and cutting, and metal chasing, this species of enamel produced effects which were all the more surprising, seeing that it was often confined to the smallest of spaces.

Other French designers of jewelry at this time were: Maria, a jeweler of Paris, who issued about 1765 an important series of plates, thirty-five in number, of pendants, brooches, clasps, chatelaines, aigrettes, seals, rings, and buckles.

A Swiss jeweler by birth was originally a gold chaser—” the first in the kingdom,” so Sir Joshua Reynolds described him; but when that mode of decorating jewelry was put aside in favor of enamels, he turned his attention to enamel compositions of emblematically figures in vogue for the costly watch-cases of the day, for chatelaines, necklaces, bracelets, and other personal ornaments. He succeeded so well in this class of work that the Queen patronized him, and he executed a considerable number of

commissions for the King.

The excess of ornamentation and the desire for jewelry formed of precious stones had, since the

seventeenth century, favored the use of imitations. Rock crystal or quartz had long been employed to imitate diamonds. But at this time even people of great wealth wore imitation jewels, such as certainly would not be worn by persons in a corresponding position nowadays. These made no profession of being real stones.

Competitors were not slow in making their appearance, and one Charon also gave his name for a considerable time to the false diamonds that issued from his workshop. So large and flourishing did the industry in imitations become that in 1767 a corporation was established in Paris. Imitation pearls were likewise very largely worn ; even ladies of high position did not disdain to wear them.

Pearls have been so well imitated, that most of those of fine Orient have found their way back from Europe to Asia, and are so rare in France that nowadays one scarcely sees any good specimens.” Productions such as these were -rendered ‘necessary to satisfy the luxury which from the nobility had extended over the whole middle classes, and also on account of the strained condition of French finance.

As Controllers of Finance, endeavored to cut down expenses, and issued in 1759 an invitation to the wealthy to bring in their jewels to be converted into cash for the benefit of the Treasury. This had become very much the fashion in France.

In Switzerland, too, since it was forbidden to wear diamonds, ladies, he tells us, wore no other ornaments than marcasite, and spent a good deal of care and money in the setting of it. The mineral known as marcasite, a word which was spelled in many ways, is a crystallized form of iron pyrites cut in facets like rose diamonds, and highly polished. It was used for a number of ornaments.

Steel, likewise cut in facets, was similarly employed. Steel jewelry appears to have been invented in England, and from Birmingham, the center of its manufacture, found its way all over Europe, reaching France by way of Holland.

Steel jewelry, which was in high favor in the latter half of the eighteenth, continued to be worn until the second V quarter of the nineteenth century, when it finally went out of fashion. Even after that, cut steel was still made at Birmingham.

One of the most prominent, continued for many years to supply the Court of Spain with buttons and buckles ornamented with steel. Steel was largely employed as mounts for the cameos of Wedgwood, and there was considerable demand for rings, brooches and buttons. Mountings for these were also made in silver or Sheffield plate.

Another characteristic of the changed condition of the times was the use in jewelry, together with false pearls, and marcasite, of various substitutes for gold. The best-known of these substitutes was “pinch- J beck,” so called after its inventor, Christopher Pinchbeck (d. 1732), a clock and watch maker, of Fleet Street. This pinch beck gold was an alloy of copper and zinc. When fused together the metals assumed the color of fine gold, and preserved for a time a bright and UN-oxidised surface, though in some cases objects thus fashioned received a washing of gold. Pinchbeck was much used for cheaper jewelry of all kinds.

The larger articles made of this metal were chatelaines, snuff-boxes, while watch-cases, miniature-frames, buckles, clasps, and so forth, are to be found for the most part ornamented in relief and carefully chased. These several articles to which pinch beck was suited, went in those days by the name of “toys.” The term “Toy man” was employed by Pinchbeck himself, but the title had, of course, no reference to what are now known as toys.

In France and Germany a metal composition like gold, in imitation of pinch beck, called “gold shine,” was produced, first in about 1729, and subsequently improved by Leblanc, of Paris. But the name of the English inventor of the metal was well known in France.

The head-ornament—the aigrette—was still an important jewel in the eighteenth century. Generally a kind of delicately formed bouquet of precious stones in very light setting, it continued long in fashion, together with strings of pearls among the hair. For a while the aigrette was set aside for bows, small birds, etc., made of precious stones mounted upon vibrating spiral wires which were then attached to the hair-pin. These went under the name of “wasps” or “butterflies.” In the days of Marie Antoinette they were supplemented by hair-pins and aigrettes set entirely with diamonds, which about 1770 had almost entirely colored stones.

Many designs for these head-ornaments were published. Some jewelers wanted do away with the mixture of colored stones with diamonds and in spite of the general preference for the diamond, taste had not yet learned to do without color effect in jewelry. Earrings, as has been noticed in reference to the Santini designs, were in particular favor at this period.

The majority were composed of large faceted stones or of pearls, formed grandiose fashion—that is to say, of a large circular stone above, with three pear-shaped pendants below. A pair of earrings of this form, said to have belonged to Madame du Barry, are in possession of Lady Monckton. They are set each with four sapphire pastes of very fine quality ; the three drop-pendants being separated from the upper stone by open spray-work of silver set with white pastes.

Similarly elaborate pendent earrings in seven sections composed of brilliants are seen in an original portrait of Queen Charlotte by Thomas Frye (c. 1760). Drop-shaped pendants, mostly diamonds, were then very highly esteemed. Marie Antoinette had a pair of diamond earrings with stones of this form hanging from a perpendicular line of large brilliants.

For necklaces the engravings of these same designers supply many patterns. Like the designs of the fifteenth century, they are often in the form of a band about an inch in width, composed of precious stones— rubies, emeralds, pearls, and diamonds—in open-work, or attached to velvet. They are generally constructed so as to reach only half-way round the neck, the back part being a band of black velvet. Portraits of the time frequently exhibit ropes of pearls, and finally rows of large diamonds, like the renowned collier of Marie Antoinette composed by the Court jewelers. Numerous circumstances connected with it, too lengthy to relate here, gave to the affair of the diamond necklace a world-wide celebrity, making it one of the chief events of the century. Though historically one of the world’s most famous pieces of jewelry, the necklace itself, described in quaint but vivid language by Carlyle in his Miscellanies, calls for no special comment, being on the whole of comparatively small artistic importance. Its value was a great sum for those days—lay in the size and quality of the brilliants of which it was composed. A favorite point of adornment in female attire was still the breast, where, in the first part of the century, jeweled ornaments in the form of bows and rosettes, hung with pendants and set with table-cut stones or rose diamonds, continued to be worn. Generally they hung with pear-shaped pendants.

About 1770 a large bunch of flowers, or a bouquet-shaped ornament formed of precious stones, was worn in the breast. For the latter the jeweler Lempereur enjoyed a great reputation. Upon the stiff bodice, which came into fashion at the end of the seventeenth century, scope was afforded for a goodly use of ornament, and soon we find the corsage literally covered with jewels, in a manner similar to that in which the ladies of the Renaissance almost completely covered the upper part of their dresses with pendent chain-ornaments. At the time, however, of which we now speak the ornaments are single pieces mounted upon the dress and arranged symmetrically in the form of a jeweled “stomacher” or devant de corsage. The Santini drawings contain many examples of this kind of open framework composed of precious stones.

At this period also, when luxury reached its climax, even the tucked-up upper skirt had the whole of its exaggerated dimensions sprinkled with pieces of jewelry, so that of this time again it may be said that the ladies of the Court displayed the whole of their wealth, and often enough of their credit too, upon a single dress. Fashion endeavored to fill a corresponding part in gentleman’s attire by adorning coat and waistcoat with buttons of artistic workmanship. To match the beautiful embroidered garments of the time, buttons were sewn with bugles, steel beads, or spangles ; and many have survived which may be reckoned as real articles of jewelry. Every material and mode of decoration was applied to them.

Occasionally we find buttons set with diamonds and other precious stones, but more often paste, or with odd natural stones such as agates, carnelians, marcasite, blood-stones, lapis-lazuli, or buttons of tortoise-shell, or of compositions such as Wedgwood ware, in frames of cut steel. Translucent blue glass or enamel, mounted or set with pearls, diamonds or pastes, and chased and colored gold, were all fashionable. On the whole, cut steel was the most popular. A Birmingham craftsman by name of Heeley, who worked for Wedgwood about 1780, is recorded as being especially skillful at this class of work; while in France a certain Dauffe had almost a monopoly in the production of steel objects. Certainly some of the open-work steel buttons of the time— English as well as French—are jewels of a very high order. Bracelets were mostly formed of bands of velvet with oval clasps.

The clasp was decorated in a variety of ways, and was very frequently fitted with a painted or enameled miniature. The practice of wearing miniatures in this way seems to have been a common one, judging by the numerous advertisements inserted in the London Public Advertiser about the middle of the century by ” ingenious artists,” willing on ” reasonable terms to paint elegant portraits in miniature for bracelets, rings, etc. Cameos were sometimes employed as bracelet clasps, but not to the same extent as they were subsequently under the Empire.

An admirable example of French jewel work of the time, is formed of a circlet of emeralds arranged in the manner of a laurel wreath, and tied at intervals by cords of rose diamonds terminating above and below in knots. Among other decorations for bracelets, mention may be made of the celebrated enamels produced at Batter-sea between 1750 and 1775, very many of which, oval in shape, were set in gold frames so as to be easily mounted in bracelets. The finger ring in the eighteenth century was a particularly favorite jewel. That considerable attention was paid at the time to the design and decoration of the ring, may be judged from Bourguet’s designs, which contain patterns for enamel-work intended for its enrichment.

The beauty of the sentiments displayed on the rings of the time is nowhere more charmingly expressed than on an English wedding-ring at South Kensington, which is formed of two hand’s in white enamel, holding between the thumbs and first fingers a rose diamond in the shape of a heart set in silver and surmounted with a jeweled coronet. Other rings of similar style have the bezel formed of two precious stones in the form of hearts united by a knot. Rings which served simply as souvenirs of affection were very popular. In addition to the plain gold ring engraved with a posy or motto, were rings containing a like sentiment read by means of the first letters of the stones with which they are set.

The most typical ring of the period is perhaps the marquise ring, which dates from the second half of the century. The bezel, which is oblong, and either oval or octagonal, is often of such size that it covers the whole joint of the finger. It is formed of a plaque of transparent blue glass on matted gold, surrounded with diamonds, and set either with a single diamond, or with several arranged at regular intervals, sometimes in the form of a bouquet. Often instead of diamonds are pastes and even marcasite. Of other varieties of rings of the time it is necessary only to mention those set with Wedgwood cameos, or .with, stones such as moss-agates, and a form of agate somewhat similar, but of lighter color, called the mocha stone.

Mourning and memorial rings, of which this period was so prolific, will be spoken of subsequently. An ornament that showed a peculiarly wide development throughout the eighteenth century was the shoe-buckle. Various kinds of buckles are recorded in the Caution to the Public. They include the following: buckles for ladies’ breasts, stock-buckles, shoe-buckles, knee-buckles, girdle-buckles. Of these the most important was the buckle worn on the shoes of every one —man, woman, and child—attached to the strap passing over the instep. It assumed all sorts of forms and was made and enriched with every conceivable material.

It is interesting to observe that in spite of the immense number produced, hardly any two pairs of buckles are precisely alike— which contains upwards of four hundred specimens. Towards the last years of the century buckles began to be supplanted by shoe-strings. During this period of transition many attempts were made to foster their use.

On tickets to public entertainments at the time one occasionally finds a notice that ” Gentlemen cannot be admitted with shoe-strings.” The latter, however, won the day, and about the year 1800 shoe-buckles disappeared from use. The chatelaine was perhaps the most characteristic of all eighteenth-century ornaments. It was exceedingly popular, and formed, it may be observed, a very favorite object of the time for a wedding present. It usually consisted of a shield with a stout hook, suspended from which were several chains united by another plate or shield which carried the watch. Besides this were two or more chains for holding the watch-key or seals.

Extraordinary skill was exercised in the elaboration of chatelaines. The plaques, hinged or united by chains, withstood the incursion of the precious stone that dominated all other forms of jewelry, and afforded peculiar opportunities for the display of the art of the goldsmith in chased and repouss6 metal-work enriched with exquisite enamels. The jeweler’s whole artistic skill was thus exhibited, not only upon the shields, but upon the solid links of the chains.

The chief of the latter was of course the watch. Its dial-plate was enriched with enamel, and chased and colored gold : even the hands when made of gold showed a high degree of skilled workmanship within a very small space. The principal ornamental part was, however, the outer case; and it may be maintained that there was not any species of work connected with the goldsmith’s art that was not displayed in its finest form upon watch-cases, more especially in the time of Louis XVI.

Beside the watch was hung the watch-key and seals, and all sorts of ornamental nick-knacks, and such-like bought!

While women carried elaborate chatelaines, men hung from the watch in the fob-pocket bunches of seals which dangled beneath their embroidered waistcoats. Thus in Monsieur a la Mode, published about 1753, we read of— A repeater by Graham, which the hours reveals ; Almost overbalanced with nick-knacks and seals.

It was the seal above all which experienced particular artistic development. Ever since the sixteenth century the seal had been worn in addition to the signet ring. Though hung perhaps like a pomander from a chain at the neck or from the girdle, the seal seems to have been but rarely displayed on the person until the general introduction in the early seventeenth century of the watch, to which for more than a couple of centuries it was a regular accompaniment.

The majority of seventeenth-century seals are of silver with the arms engraved in the metal; others of steel are on swivels and have three faces; others, again, of gold set with stones engraved with heraldic devices, have finely worked shanks, occasionally enriched with delicate enamel-work. The gold seals of the eighteenth century, which are among the best examples extant of rococo jewelry, are of open-work in the form of scroll and shell patterns, of admirable design and workmanship. It is out of the question to attempt a description of the numerous attractive forms these pendent seals assumed, or the peculiar interest they possess from an heraldic point of view. About the year 1772 fashionable men carried a watch in each fob-pocket, from which hung bunches of seals and chains.

From the custom set in England of introducing masculine fashions into dress, ladies likewise wore two watches, one on each side, together with rattling seals, and other appendages. In addition to the real watch with beautifully enameled back which adorned the left side, they wore on the right what was called a false watch. These false watches were, however, often little less costly than the genuine article, being made of gold and silver, with jeweled and enameled backs. The front had either an imitation dial-plate, some fanciful device, or a pin-cushion.

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All jewelry of the late Renaissance runs a gradual and profound change of taste. Slowly and by imperceptible stages the earlier style, with its minute enameled figures in high relief, gives place to a desire for sparkling diamonds, and a pleasure in the glitter of faceted stones.

In the sixteenth century diamonds, rubies, and other stones played a comparatively insignificant part in jewelry, and were prized mainly for their decorative value, but during the course of the seventeenth century a more prominent role was gradually conceded to precious stones.

Used singly at first, in table-cut form, to give a center of interest or a note of color, they came finally to be arranged in long rows. A complete change was brought about in the whole character of jewelry by the prominence thus given to the precious stone.

From the commencement of the seventeenth century Germany began to lose the position which, during the greater part of the century previous, she had occupied as a jewel-producing center while the Thirty Years’ War, by handicapping her industries, caused the jewelers to seek employment elsewhere.

It was mainly from France that the new ideas in the form of ornaments emanated. The French are fortunate in possessing separate words to distinguish different kinds of jewelry. Two distinct jewelry categories began to emerge. One was of jewelry formed of gold, enamels and precious stones. The other was composed of stones along with minimum metalwork. By the revolution of taste in the later days of the Renaissance the first category gradually superseded the second; while the two crafts of the silversmith and the jeweler replaced the ancient craft of the goldsmith.

Changes in the mode of wearing clothes, and in the materials employed for them, had an enormous influence on jewelry. In place of the velvet and brocade that prevailed during the Renaissance, damask came to be worn, together with an extravagant taste for lace and ribbons. The wearing of the silken stuffs that began to be issued from the factories of Lyons, and of the lace that formed their accompaniment, necessitated the use of ornaments more in keeping with these materials ; with the result that the jewelry of the period assumed an open and lace-like character, suitable also for the display of precious stones. At first colored stones were used—the ruby, sapphire, and the emerald ; but soon the diamond held sole possession of the field.

In Renaissance ornaments this latter gem played only a secondary part, and was employed solely for the sake of contrast, but it now appeared as the chief object in view, and formed the ornament by itself, all other parts of the jewel, the setting, and possible addition of other stones, being wholly subordinate to it.

For the first general employment of the diamond in jewelry one must look back to the fifteenth century, to the invention of the art of cutting that stone. From that date until the beginning of the seventeenth century, every diamond, as is seen both by jewels and their designs, was one of two forms: either the ” point,” a four-sided pyramid or the faces of the native octagon crystal of diamond and making them exactly true and regular ; or the ” table,” in which the point of the crystal is reduced to a square or oblong plane, the opposite extremity being also in plane form, but of smaller extent, with sloping faceted edges.

This simple cutting did so little to augment the brilliance of the diamond that the jewelers of the sixteenth century had to depend on the foiling of the stone, in which art Cellini in his treatise, with his characteristic appreciation of his own merits, tells us that he particularly excelled. The change of taste in the seventeenth century may be attributed to the opening up of the diamond fields of Golconda on the southern borders of the State of Hyderabad, at the beginning of that century, and to the enterprise of the French travelers who, during their frequent voyages to Persia and India, dealt largely in precious stones. These travelers succeeded in establishing new commercial relations, which led to the introduction into Europe of abundance of precious stones and particularly diamonds; while the narratives of their journeys, furnishing more exact knowledge of the quality and value of the products of the East, attracted towards precious stones a new interest.

Owing to the abundance of material imported from the East, the market for precious stones assumed an entirely different aspect; while the quantity and beauty of the material thus at their disposal spurred on the stone-cutters towards the improvement of their technique, until at the end of the century they arrived at the true cutting of the diamond. Besides the “point,” which was but rarely used, the table-cut diamond alone was employed until the commencement of the seventeenth century. About that time there came into use the “rose,” a half-crystal, flat at the base and with a convex top covered with a number of small facets.

Stones faceted in this manner were at first mostly small and unimportant and cut very irregularly into four or six facets. Between the years 1641 and 1643, Cardinal Mazarin, a great lover of the diamond, is said to have encouraged the promotion of experiments by the Dutch lapidaries which led to the true “rose” cutting.

Anyhow, a more systematic method of faceting in sixteen facets began to be employed about that time. This process, though it left much to be desired, was an immense improvement, and set forth the qualities of the stone in a way that had not been possible by the forms previously in use. ” Roses,” together with “tables,” lasted until the invention of the “brilliant” at the commencement of the eighteenth century by the Venetian, Vincenzo Peruzzi, though rose cutting was popular for some time after, and is still used for certain stones.

The “rose” leaped into fashion at its first appearance, and the taste for diamonds and other precious stones seems to have dominated under Louis XIH and Louis XIV, when they became the principal objects in jewelry.

Gold was worked into the form of garlands, flowers, and all sorts of designs for the purpose of mounting precious stones and setting off their beauty. The enormous increase of luxury in this direction was entirely in keeping with the whole conception of an absolute monarchy as developed by Louis XIV, who made it the duty of the grandest gems, and to carry the value of lands and forests upon their own and their wives’ apparel when they appeared before the eyes of their sovereign.

Though actual examples of the seventeenth-century jewelry are rare, at any rate in public collections, we can become acquainted with its characteristics by the numerous prints bequeathed by the goldsmiths of the time. These prints, like those of the sixteenth century, were not invariably the work of their designers, since it was no uncommon practice for the master-goldsmith to have his designs multiplied for use in his own workshop, and for general circulation, by placing them in the hands of an engraver.

As a rule the nationalities of existing jewels may be in some measure determined by means of the designs from which they were executed. But it is often difficult to make clear distinctions in this manner, owing to the continual artistic interchange which brought the fashions of one place to another, and caused the methods and ideas of the craftsmen to become common property.

The bi-lingual inscriptions which one finds on the frontispieces of many of the pattern-books or sets of designs then published, prove that they were intended for international use. The first attempts to base the composition of the ornament exclusively upon the effect of stones arranged in definite forms, without granting the setting of the plastic metal any independent part, are found in some of the prints of Daniel Mignot, of the year 1590.

Mignot, probably of French extraction, was a-goldsmith of Augsburg, where between the years 1590 and 1616 he produced a number of highly important designs for jewelry, which form a link between the old and the newer styles. While following the artists of the late sixteenth century in the representation of figure designs in ornaments formed of flat strap work curves characteristic of the older school, he presents engravings of pendants, earrings, and aigrettes, in which the stones are set in juxtaposition. That the transition to the newer forms was slow, is shown in the works of the goldsmith-engraver Amsterdam, whose models for pendants, signed with the initials P.R.K., and dated 1609 and 1617, are formed of elaborate open scroll work of tendril design, almost destitute of stones.

Exhibiting features more in keeping with those of Mignot are the designs of Paul Birckenhultz of Frankfort-on-the-Main (1617). They are of fine quality, and take the form of aigrettes and earrings set with precious stones, and elaborate oval pendants terminating with pearls and ornamented with scroll ornaments intended for execution in enamel.

Birckenhultz is the last of the German school of designers to model his work on the productions of the sixteenth-century masters. Henceforth one must look for designs chiefly to France, where an entirely new type of ornament for jewelry, such as is found in no other art production of the time, was brought into existence by endeavors to associate leaf patterns with a number of stones. Its characteristic is the use of a sort of pea-pod or husk ornament and known generally by the (pea-pod style).

In the designs of the time this formal ornament is largely employed for elaborate aigrettes ; but owing to the jewels executed from such designs having been set with stones, the result has been that change of fashion has suffered scarcely a jeweled example to survive.

As a consequence, the objects existing chiefly represent enamel led miniature-cases and pendants. The number and variety of engraved designs for this kind of ornament in the form of jeweled bouquets, chiefly for aigrettes, dating from the first half of the seventeenth century is surprising, considering that it remained a comparatively short time in use. One of the chief advocates of this style is Pierre Marchant, who worked in Paris about 1623.

His rare designs for aigrettes, and wreaths for the borders of pendants, are most graceful, and show a form of leaf ornament which is extremely happily adapted for materials in which the precious stone had to play a prominent part. The foregrounds or bases of nearly all these engravings are remarkable for the landscapes.

These fine compositions, when formed of precious stones, show knots and interlacing s for clasps, pendants, and earrings, in which diamonds are fully displayed in rose-cut forms. As models for objects not composed entirely of stones, we find seals, rings,bracelets, and chains decorated with ribbons and bows mingled with monograms, and emblems, such as death’s-heads. Together with these appear tasteful arrangements for enamel-work in the form of natural flowers of great charm and delicacy. To these last reference will be made later.

The jewels, in the form of pendants, earrings, and brooches, are composed of stones set in various ways the last plate is a miniature portrait of Louis XIV set as a brooch. All his designs are accompanied by garlands of natural flowers. Complete as was the change which was brought about owing to the prominence given to the precious stone, it must not be supposed that the enameler’s art was by any means neglected.

Though it cannot be compared with that in the best productions of the Renaissance, the enamel-work applied to seventeenth-century jewelry is, nevertheless, worthy of close attention. By one method the surface of the gold was simply incised with designs, and the grooves thus made filled with enamel. By another method only thin lines of the metal were reserved to form the design, and the remainder of the field cut out to receive the enamel. This latter system resembles in appearance the well-known cloisonne; but the metal strips that form the partitions between the enamel, instead of being inserted, are a solid part of the metal base.

Commonly employed on jewelry from the middle of the sixteenth century, it remained in general favor, till about the third decade of the seventeenth century when it gave place to enamel-work of an entirely different kind.

The designs are occasionally for complete jewels, but most of them take the form of very small motives intended as patterns for the shoulders of finger rings, or for the borders, frames, or other details of jewels. Some engraved plates are made up entirely of such motives, on other plates they appear as details, either within a complete design or upon the field outside it. Germany and the Netherlands furnish the earliest examples of these.

The lockets of this period are ornamented with patterns reserved in white on black ground in the form of trailing leaves and tendrils, partly in the “pea-pod” style, and accompanied by lively genre figures in various attitudes.

Perhaps the most attractive of these plates is that which represents a jeweler—probably Toutin himself—firing a jewel which he holds in the furnace by a pair of long tongs, while above is figured a model of the actual jewel—an octagonal box-like pendant.

Toutin, who appears to have been an experimenter in enamels, is entitled to distinction as the discoverer of a new process of using them. The process consisted in covering a plate of gold or copper with an opaque monochromatic enamel, on which designs were painted with colors, opaque and fusible, and of greater variety than had previously been employed.

This method of enamel painting, extensively used for jewelry, proved to be peculiarly suitable to the representation of natural flowers which came into high favor about the same time. The employment of naturalistic flower designs, as displayed on the margins of manuscripts, was one of the features of late Gothic art.

The same tendency with regard to flowers was manifested on the enameled jewelry of the fifteenth century, the most striking example of which is the wonderful necklace seen on the Flemish portrait of Maria Baroncelli. Renaissance ornaments on the whole did not favor naturalistic floral patterns, though flowers enameled in full relief are occasionally found, as on the border of the Phoenix Jewel in the British Museum.

The general return in the early part of the seventeenth century to flower designs for the decoration of jewelry is associated with a curious phase in the social history of the time that accompanied the deep interest then taken in flowers and horticulture. Among flowers, of which the Dutch have ever been enthusiastically fond, and never tired of growing and of painting, the most prominent position was occupied by the tulip. From about the year 1634 the cultivation of the tulip became a perfect craze in Holland, like a violent epidemic seized upon all classes of the community. Gambling of an almost unparalleled nature was carried on in the bulbs, and the flower became fashionable everywhere. In the bouquets which the enamelers arranged with great taste, and painted with extraordinary skill, the tulip is always prominent.

This and many other flowers, and occasionally fruits, were painted in the same manner as a picture, on an enamel ground of uniform color—generally white, and sometimes pale blue, yellow, or black. Small plaques enameled and painted thus are popularly known by the name of “Louis Treize ” enamels, though the majority of them were produced after Louis XIII’s death in 1643.

About 1640 it became the custom occasionally to model the design in relief with a paste of white enamel, which was afterwards painted with vitreous colors according to nature. Towards the middle of the century the background of the flowers was pierced and cut away, so that every single flower, exquisitely modeled and colored, stood out by itself. In addition to tulips of every variety, and hyacinths, sunflowers, and roses, all kinds of lilies were in favor, especially the tipper-lily, the “crown imperial,” whose beautifully spotted blossoms were rendered in their natural colors with striking fidelity.

Flowers executed in this realistic style for jewelry were arranged chiefly in garlands and festoons.

The engravings, with natural flower ornamentation very finely designed and executed, were published about 1650. They comprise crosses, scissor, watch, and scent cases, and pendants—star- and bow-shaped, and set each with a pendent pearl.

To sum up the characteristic styles of seventeenth-century ornament which we have endeavored to describe, the first feature is the general preference for precious stones, and especially diamonds, and the use of the ” pea-pod “ornament for displaying them. From this style we pass, secondly, to the ” “silhouette ” designs. Thirdly comes the development of naturalistic flower designs.

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THE girdle is an important ornament in the dress of the Renaissance. From the beginning of the sixteenth century it differs considerably from the medieval pattern already discussed. In place of the stiff hoop about the hips, it was worn loosely across the body from above the right hip down towards the left thigh, where the upper garment was passed over it in a light fold. At this point was the clasp, from which hung numerous small articles necessary to the active housewife. Another style of wearing it, which appears to have been adopted for more sumptuous dress, was one where it more firmly encircled the body, and from a clasp in front, hung down in a long end, terminating in a special ornamental appendage—a scent-case or pomander.

The common material was leather or stuff, such as was employed for men’s girdles. The long and narrow thong of leather was worn by all classes. The majority of Renaissance girdles, confined solely to female attire, were made entirely of silver or silver gilt, and even of silvered or gilded bronze. They took the form of flat chains composed of links, generally with solid pieces in the shape of oblong plaques, of cast or chased work, introduced at regular intervals. The solid parts, particularly those that formed the clasps, were occasionally enriched with enamels, precious stones, or engraved gems.

The majority of collections contain specimens of such girdles; but simpler kinds, composed entirely of ring-shaped links, which, judging from numerous Flemish, Dutch, and German portraits, must have been in very general use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, are much less frequently met with. A good example of such, a chain in silver-gilt, of German work of the second half of the sixteenth century, is preserved at Brussels.

It is formed of rounded grooved links. At one end is a rosette-shaped girdle plate set with a white crystal, and having a hook behind to catch into any link of the chain. The other end terminates in a pear-shaped pomander divided for the reception of different cosmetics into two parts.

A considerable number of girdles of leather or strips of material are found mounted after the medieval style with buttons or studs, and instead of clasps, have buckles at one end, and at the other the pendants common in earlier times.

It is not unusual to meet with girdles of Flemish or German work which, though dating from the latter part of the seventeenth century, are ornamented with Gothic patterns. The buckle and pendant {mordant), deeply pierced with open-work tracery of flamboyant design, are generally united by only a short thong, and are so overcharged with ornament that it is doubtful if they could have been of any practical use. Such objects appear in reality to be but specimens of their work submitted by girdlers who were desirous of obtaining admission to the Girdlers’ Company.

They serve to show how long-lived were Gothic traditions among the guilds. Examples in silver or bronze gilt are to be found in the Germanic Museum, Nuremberg, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Wallace Collection, and in many other public collections.

A number of articles, both useful and ornamental, were suspended from the girdle. For practical purposes the housewife carried at her side, besides a knife, such objects as small scissors in a case, a purse, and also her keys. Cases for knives were attached either by silken cords or by chains. When cords were employed the cover was furnished with loops on each side through which the cords slid.

Open quiver-like sheaths for knives hung by chains were often worn, in order to display the rich decoration of the knife-heads. The Italianate costume, such as is found in the type of ” Vanity” in emblem books of the age, and which made its way everywhere, favored the addition of many other accessories to the girdles, such as fans, gloves, looking-glasses, books, watches, scent-cases, and pomanders.

Mirrors, besides being worn from the neck, formed, as did miniature-cases, a frequent pendant from the girdle. These were either in a frame of ivory or goldsmith’s work, or inserted in the fan. Their handles terminate with small rings for attachment by a chain to the girdle. In the Louvre is an interesting pendent mirror-case, or rather back of a mirror, formed of an oval plaque of glass encrusted with designs in enamel on gold.

RENAISSANCE GIRDLE PENDANTS bearing inscriptions, and small books, mainly devotional, were also worn at the girdle. It appears to have been a common practice for ladies to carry such books. Queen Elizabeth had several. Among the jewels given to Queen Elizabeth in1582, was “a little book of gold enameled. Diamond and rubies, with clasps all hung from a chain of gold.

The inventory of the jewels of the Duchess of Somerset, widow of the Protector, in 1587, likewise contains a book of gold enameled black. Two drawings for small pendent books intended to be in black enamel appear among Holbein’s designs for jewelry in the British Museum, and the Earl of Romney possesses a small manuscript Prayer Book in binding of enameled gold of the same style. The most magnificent book-cover in existence, provided with loops for hanging by a chain to the girdle, is one preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is of enameled gold, and has been ascribed to Cellini. Of less beauty, though of great interest as an example of English work, is the gold binding of a pendent Prayer Book in the British Museum.

The subjects on the sides, raised and enameled, are the Brazen Serpent, and the Judgment of Solomon, with English inscriptions around. It is said to be the work of George Heriot of Edinburgh, and there is a tradition that it was worn by Queen Elizabeth. Whatever associations this object may have had with Elizabeth, there is better authority for such with regard to the small book of prayers, the property of Lord Fitz-hardinge, and one of the Hunsdon heirlooms.

This very interesting English jewel is of gold, inlaid with black enamel, with a rosette of white enamel at each corner. The center of one cover is decorated with translucent red and green enamel, that of the other with a shell cameo. It contains the last prayer of King Edward VI in MS. written on vellum.

Though occasionally worn suspended from the neck-chain, watches appear to have been more frequently carried at the girdle—a position somewhat similar to that which they subsequently occupied upon the chatelaine. The honor of the invention of portable timepieces is probably due to Peter Henlein, of Nuremberg, in the last quarter of the fifteenth century, but it was not till a century later that they came into anything like general use.

The cases, which received the same beautiful enrichment in the way of enamel-work and precious stones as was bestowed on other personal ornaments of the time,were made to emit the sound of the ticking and striking, and the lid was pierced with an aperture over each hour, through which the position of the hand might be seen.

Not only square, oval, octagonal, and cruciform watches occur, but some in such fanciful shapes as death’s-heads, books, shells, acorns, tulips, pears, etc.; while rock crystal (to render the works visible) and other stones were often converted into cases. Oval watches, known as ” Nuremberg eggs,” are usually reckoned among the earliest, but this title was not given to watches till some time after their invention. All egg-watches that have been preserved belong to the seventeenth century.

In Hollar’s set of plates of the Four Seasons, dated 1641, the lady representing Summer has on her left side depending from her girdle an object of this shape, apparently a watch. The most important pendent ornament to the girdle, from the present point of view, is the pomander, the early history of which has already been alluded to.

Throughout the sixteenth, and until about the middle of the century following, the pomander formed an almost invariable adjunct” to the girdle, and was occasionally, in the case of men, hung to the long and heavy chains worn at that period round the neck.’ Most of the pendants still termed pomanders were, as has been already noted, in reality cases for scents or different cosmetics; but from their fruit-like shape, though often innocent of the original pomander ball, they have retained the title, but solely, it would seem, in our own language. I will have my pomander of most sweet smell, also my chains of gold to hang about my neck said many of this period of time.

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