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1810 Empire Gold: The Symbolism of a Garnet Cross

This Empire period pendant, originating from early 19th-century France, stands as a testament to the grandeur of the Napoleonic era. Crafted from 18K yellow gold, it showcases 14 meticulously set rose cut garnets, radiating a deep, rich hue. The piece is defined by its massiveness and precise symmetry, characteristic of the Empire style, which aimed to resurrect the opulence of ancient Rome. It features the traditional cross 'Badine', an emblem of Christian symbology, adorned with the garnet – January’s birthstone. The pendant bears the French hallmark of a rooster’s head, affirming its authenticity and period. This rare artifact, once a staple of regal attire, now belongs to the echelons of private collections and museums, capturing the essence of its time.

Antique jewelry object group

very good condition
more info on our condition scale

Country of origin

Empire - The Empire style, sometimes considered the second phase of Neoclassicism, is an early-19th-century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts followed in Europe and America up to around 1830. The style originated in and takes its name from the period when Napoleon I ruled France, known as the First French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon's leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to the Biedermeier style in the German-speaking lands, Federal style in the United States and to the Regency style in Britain. An earlier phase of the style was called the Adam style in Great Britain and "Louis Seize" or Louis XVI, in France.
See also: Empire
more info on styles

Style specifics
A style that borrowed style specifics from the ancient Greeks and the Roman empire (hence the name of the style: Empire). The empire period represents the second part of the Neo-Classical style, and shows a strong French influence. The style originated in the desire of Napoleon to revive the luxurious majesty of imperial Rome. Traditional classical motifs, already seen in the reign of Louis XVI, were supplemented by symbols of imperial grandeur- the emperor's monogram and his emblem, the bee; representations of military trophies; and after the successful campaigns in Egypt, Egyptian motifs. If we had to characterize this style briefly, we could focus on two elementary concepts: massiveness and symmetry.

ca. 1810
Events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era.

Source of inspiration

Cross - The cross is one of the most ancient human symbols, and is used by many religions, such as Christianity. It is frequently a representation of the division of the world into four elements (or cardinal points), or alternately as the union of the concepts of divinity, the vertical line, and the world, the horizontal line. (from: Wikipedia)

18K yellow gold (touchstone tested)
more info on precious metals

The rose cuts are set on foil. This is a special technique that was used to bring the lustre of the diamonds to its best quality.

Extra information
Cross pendant "Badine" or little wind in gold with garnets, pear-shaped element articulated to the rest of the cross, in bezel setting, with bail drawn back and invisible. This cross was the most typical and traditional cross made in the Roussillon in France, worn with a silk or velvet ribbon attached or tied around the neck. The shape of this jewel was already know by Catalan goldsmiths in 1663. Worn during the Empire and the Restoration, they are found on the portrait of Elizabeth Campagnac. In our days, French regional crosses are very scarce compared to the variety that existed in the old days. Most of these crosses are now kept in museums or in private collections.

Precious stones
14 rose cut garnets

Garnet is the birthstone (or month stone) for January.
more info on birthstones

The French hallmark depicting a rooster's head which was used in France for 18K gold around 1810.
more info on hallmarks

height 6,13 cm (2,41 inch)
see picture with a ruler in millimeters and inches

12,30 gram (7,91 dwt)

Adin Reference Nº

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Adin, fine antique jewellery

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1810 Empire Gold: The Symbolism of a Garnet Cross
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