18th century elegance revisited

A gold, silver and diamond corsage ornament by Cartier, 1907.

This large brooch or corsage ornament designed as an elaborate bow with intricate tassel drops is typical of Cartier’s ‘Garland Style’ production during the early years of the twentieth century and clearly demonstrates its origin in late 18th century design motifs.

Leopold Pfisterer, 1763-1767, diamond court dress trimmings | Moscow, The Kremlin Armoury's State Diamond Fund

It is unusual in that it is also partly set in gold, a metal one associates with the previous century, but which at this time was in a period of transition to platinum for diamond-set jewels.

Louis-David Duval, 1760-1770, diamond bow jewels which could be worn as hair ornaments or pinned to the bodice or sleeves of a dress | Moscow, The Kremlin Armoury’s State Diamond Fund

Very often jewels of this scale were adaptable, so that elements such as the drops in this case, could be used as ear pendants, while the central bow motif could have been attached to a velvet ribbon and worn as a choker.

Jérémie Pauzié, 1740s, Catherine the Great’s diamond mantle fastener | Moscow, The Kremlin Armoury’s State Diamond Fund