victorian pearls

Franz Xaver Winterhalter, detail, Portrait of Princess Pauline de Metternich, 1860.

Oil on canvas, 115 × 87.5 cm., oval. 

Private collection.

flickr

Locket ring with mother of pearl by Victoria

An Art Nouveau gold, plique-à-jour enamel, pearl and ruby pendant, by Georges Fouquet, circa 1898. The pendant designed as an orchid decorated with plique-à-jour enamel, centring a round faceted ruby, surrounded by four small pearls set to the anthers, mounted in yellow gold, suspended from a gold chain set with gems.

The Mellerio Shell Tiara (created in 1867) resembles both a shell cradling its treasures and a rolling ocean wave, complete with pearls and briolette-cut diamonds dripping below. There’s a removable diamond drop suspended beneath in the center – highlighting the waves on the base – which is not used these days. The piece comes from famed French jeweler Mellerio, whose delicate work has contributed pieces to many a royal house.