The Belle Époque (1890-1915) encompassed three jewelry design periods: Art Nouveau, the Arts and Crafts movement, and Edwardian. The “Beautiful Era” was a time of increasing wealth and flourishing arts. A time of peace and prosperity, of elegance and opulence. When cinema boomed, movie stars, instead of European royalty, became trendsetters.
The Edwardian period covered the reign of King Edward of Great Britain and his trendsetting queen, Alexandra.
Edwardian jewelry is ornate yet light and delicate. The dominant motifs of lace, bows, and ribbons hearkened to the pageantry of the court of Louis the Great. Repeating the natural themes of the previous two aesthetic movements – Art Nouveau, Arts and Craft, Edwardian jewelry also has its fair share of floral patterns.
Technological progress made Platinum the choice metal. Its durability allowed for delicate designs and the setting of stones without fear of the piece falling apart. Its bright, silvery-white luster was combined with the brilliant glimmer of Diamonds and Pearls for unmatched opulence.
The good times lasted until the outbreak of World War I in 1915, marking the end of the Belle Epoque.
Our Belle Époque diamond and pendant is set with a presumably natural pearl encircled by numerous presumably natural pearls, old and rose-cut diamonds weighing a total of app. 0.48 ct., mounted in 18k gold and platinum. Pearl diam. app. 2.2–7.2 mm. Color: Wesselton-Crystal (H-J). Clarity: SI. Diam. app. 3.5 cm. Made circa 1910, later converted from brooch to pendant.