Important 14/18 Kt. Gold & Onyx Cameo Demi-Parure
Don't Miss Your Next Treasure.
Set up a search alert to hear when Gold Brooches & Pins items arrive.
Discover Similar Items
Lot 0740 Details
Important Three-Piece Eighteen- and Fourteen-Karat Gold and Onyx Cameo Demi-Parure, third quarter 19th century, Continental, augmented by Edward A. Tyler, New Orleans, including a large cameo brooch and pair of cameo cuff bracelets, the large brooch with a beautifully detailed black and white onyx cameo of a neoclassical maiden with braided hair and acorn earrings, presented in an eighteen-karat gold frame surrounded by fifty-three old mine-cut diamonds in reduced collet mountings, all within a rope-twist border, the reverse fitted with a plain hook catch, 2-1/2" x 2", together with a pair of cuff bracelets, each fitted with a similar onyx cameo, the profiles affrontee and mounted en suite with the brooch, each with twenty-one diamonds, and affixed to a fourteen-karat gold cuff bracelet decorated in a pique design with black taille d'epargne enamel with bright-cut edges, with pawl catch and safety chain, the cameos overall 1-1/8" x 2", the cuff w. 7/8", inside diameter 2-1/4" (ninety-five diamonds total, approximately H-I color, VS2-SI1 clarity, and 9.50 carats total weight), total weight 195.4 grams, the cuff bracelets presented in the original satin-lined and leather-covered wooden box with E. A. Tyler's gilt retailer's stamp, 1-3/4" x 5-3/4" x 3-1/4". Provenance: The Estate of Paul Emile Archinard, Murphy, North Carolina and New Orleans, Louisiana. This demi-parure is perhaps one of the finest jewelry suites to emerge at auction with such a strong New Orleans history. The cameos on the bracelets both have the remnants of a pin-hinge and hood clasp, showing that the set was originally a trio of brooches, probably of Continental manufacture: a very expensive Grand Tour souvenir, for which cameos from Italy and Idar-Oberstein were very popular. The bracelets themselves, however, show all signs of American manufacture - the black taille d'epargne enamel being appropriately somber for a society in mourning after the horrors of the Civil War. It it likely, then, that Boston-born and -trained jeweler Edward Augustus Tyler (1813-1879) (who, after some unsuccessful ventures, settled in New Orleans in 1838 and by the time of the Reconstruction had become a wealthy and successful merchant) was asked to convert the smaller cameos to then-fashionable cuff bracelets. The results show his consummate skill, and explain why the cuffs are presented in Tyler's original presentation box but the brooch is not. The suite is descended in the family of the late Paul Emile Archinard, whose maternal line was from Missouri. Given the date of the suite, it is very likely then that it belonged to one of his two paternal great-grandmothers - Philomena Melicert Boueming Archinard (1838-1911) or Armantine Amelie du Bertrand Vienne (1834-1914) - both of whom were in New Orleans and of appropriate age at the time the set was made.
Very Good. Some scuffs and frits on the black enamel of the bracelets, with some very tiny chips around the catch, but otherwise in superb condition. No chips, cracks or abrasions on the cameos. All the diamonds appear to be original as do the brooch pin and hook. The smaller cameos have been modified from brooches as noted in the catalogue description. No purity/maker's marks. A gorgeous set. The interior of the E.A. Tyler box has some light wear and rips, but the exterior is very worn, with the leather and cotton batting missing on the right third of the lid top.