Provence - Alpes - Cote d'Azur

 

Provence - Alpes - Côte d'Azur

 

Antoine Raspal

Antoine Raspal - l'Arlésienne


Antoine Raspal, 1738 - 1811.  His Arlesienne is wearing the traditional "Coulas" bracelet as well as
a traditional Maltese cross, musée Granat, communauté du Pays d'Aix

 

 

The Coulas bracelet

Antoine Raspal


antique "coulas" bracelet in gold - collection Museon Arlaten, Arles

 

 

                   
antique "coulas" bracelet in silver - front, back and close-up

 

 

The Arlesian cross

 


cArles cross with its slide in gold and table-cut diamonds

 

 

The Maltese cross

                             
Maltese cross from Arles in gold, enamel and diamonds

 

 

 


Maltese cross from Arles in gold, enamel and diamonds


 

 

The devote or Jeannette cross

 


large devote or Jeannette cross from Arles in gold, silver and diamonds with its long chain and diamond catch - actual size

 

 

 


portrait of a provençale woman montrant comment la grande croix dévote ou
croix Jeannette d'Arles était portée
avec sa longue ensemble de chaînes faisant un tour du cou laissant le fermoir en diamants visible devant


devote or Jeannette cross from Arles in silver and diamonds

 

Antoine Raspal


devote or Jeannette cross from Arles


devote or Jeannette cross from Arles


devote or Jeannette cross from Arles

devote or Jeannette cross from Arles

devote or Jeannette cross from Arles in silver and Rhinestone (or diamonds, the one on the left)

 

 

                 
devote or Jeannette cross from Arles in gold, silver and diamonds
with its triple chain necklace

 

 

Antoine Raspal


jewellery and costume, Arles

 

jewellery and costume, Arles

 

 

 

The Capucine cross

Antoine Raspal

 

 


Capucine cross in gold and diamonds

 
Three Capucine crosses with its slide in gold and diamonds
 
Capucine cross in gold and diamonds

 

 

The Capucine cross is usually quite large, at least 70mm in height, and set with very small rose-cut diamonds on the cones and the arms.  The bases of the five cones have a circle of black enamel.  It's worth noting that there are no effigies of Christ on the various crosses from the south of France with the exception of the flowered cross from Nice.

 

 


detail
of the Capucine cross


 

 

The Maintenon cross

 

Antoine Raspal


painter - Antoine Raspal (1738-1811), Portrait d'Arlésienne, oil on canvas, around 1760
she's wearing a Maintenon cross with her traditional dress -
musée Reattu, Arles

 

 

 


 Maintenon cross on display in the Musée provençal
du costume et du bijou
in the town of Grasse

 


Maintenon cross gold and diamonds
 
Maintenon cross gold and diamonds

         

 

 

The provençale papillon (butterfly) cross

 

The papillon cross from the south of France is quite different to the Flemish papillon cross often worn in the north of France and Normandy.   However, there seems to be a lot of confusion among collectors and one often comes across the Flemish crosses being sold in the south of France as being provençale crosses.  If you look at the provencale crosses closely however, the differences are unmistakable.  They generally have a small bow at the top and between the arms you can distinguish a line which separates into two as it approaches the edge of the cross.  Flemish papillon crosses, called croix à la Jeannette in Belgium, are inexpensive there and it is possible that some antique dealers import them for resale in the south of France.  It could be argued that 150 years ago they were popular in the south of France however I have never come across any in the old collections I’ve bought in the south so I suspect the phenomenon is recent.

 


papillon cross in silver and diamonds

 

 


papillon cross in silver and diamonds
 
papillon cross in silver and diamonds
 
papillon cross in silver and diamonds

 

 

 


papillon cross in silver and diamonds
 
papillon cross in silver and diamonds
 
papillon cross in silver and diamonds

 

 

 


papillon cross in silver and diamonds
 

 

 
papillon cross in silver and diamonds

 

 


"papillon" '(butterfly) cross and ear pendants in the Musée provençal du costume et du bijou 
in Grasse.  It is probable that these are in fact Belgian in origin. 
Click on the photo to see it in higher resolution

 

 

 

The Badine cross

 

 


Provençale badine cross with its slider from the Arles region, in gold, diamonds and enamel

 

The word badine is an old French word which means "to move gently" and refers to the way the cross is articulated allowing the lower part to move.

 

        
 two badine crosses in silver and Rhinestones

 

 

        
 badine cross in silver and Rhinestones, recto - verso

 

 

 

The Marie Antoinette cross

 


Marie Antoinette cross from Arles region in gold, silver and diamonds, early 19th century
 

 

The Marie Antoinette cross, sometimes called the cross of Louis XVI, is made of gold-backed silver and entirely set with table-cut diamonds or brilliant cut Rhinestones. At the centre of the cross, we notice an almost circular pattern, also set with stones. The cross is suspended from a bow-shaped element with three loops set with diamonds or Rhinestones. Diamond-set Marie Antoinette crosses, dating from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century, are very rare today.


 

 

The Arlesian necklace

 

 


Arles necklace of gold, silver and diamonds
(the bottom part of the (Flemish) cross is missing)

 

 

 


Three Arlesien necklaces called "rivières" in gold, silver and diamonds


 

 

  


Arles necklace, gold, silver and strass
Click on the photo to see it in higher resolution

 


rivière necklace from Arles in gold, silver and diamonds
Click on the photo to see it in higher resolution

 

 


"esclavage" necklace in gold, pearls and enamel
(collected in Arles but not specific to this region)
Click on the photo to see it in higher resolution

 

 


détail of enamelled catch on the esclavage necklace shown above

 

 

 

The provencale fibula


provencal fibula in silver and Rhinestones

 

 


provencal fibula in silver and Rhinestones

 

 


provencal fibula in silver and glass

 

 


fibulae from Provence in silver and glass
 

 

 

 

The Provencal belt clip (lou clavié)

 

The most distinctive piece of jewellery in the Poitou - Charentes region is the silver chatelaine which women wore on their skirts.  Chatelaines are known as claviers (lou clavié) in Provence, chatelaines in Alsace and crochets in Poitou-Charentes and the Pays de la Loire. Some authors thought they had identified chatelaines set with rhinestones in Normandy however these are in fact, at least originally before transformation, busquières (see section Normandy). Chatelaines are formed of a length of metal more or less decorated and often engraved and pierced, then bent back on itself with a spatula-shaped segment to hang on the inside of the skirt. They are generally used to suspend a pair of scissors on two chains, sometimes a key and, according to Lionel Bonnemère, a punch used to kill poultry was suspended in Poitou.


There are differences in the shapes of the chatelaines according to the regions. In the south, there is a special type which has at the top a door-knocker shaped ring which opens with a silver screw. This ring was used to hang keys, leaving the chains free for a pair of scissors. There are also chatelaines in the south where the simple chains are split by a separator with a design matching that of the hook. Niort was an important centre of manufacture of chatelaines in the 19th century and there are chatelaines from Niort to be found throughout the southern half of France, most of which were manufactured between 1815 and 1880.

 

  
clavier provençal in silver, model with a ring for attaching keys

 

 

                             
clavier in silver with its chains and separater, hallmarked in Marseille

 

 

  
clavier en argent avec ses chaînes et séparateur

 

 

 

        
clavier provençal in silver

 


 


Provencale belt-clip in gold with two knitting needle holders (affiquets) 1809-1819

 

 

                                    
four provencale claviers in silver

 

 

 

 


clavier provençal in silver

 

 

                             
clavier in silver with its chains and separater, hallmarked in Marseille

 

 

Cicada brooches

 

 


cicada brooches in silver

 


cicada brooch in gold by Giraud

 

 

 

 

 

The Gap cross

    
gold crosses from the region of Gap, French Alps

 bijoux de France

         
gold crosses from the region of Gap, French Alps

 

"Small flat crosses, of poor appearance, the arms terminating in rough clover-leaf designs (at Rozans, in the Hautes-Alpes) .This form is more pronounced at Orpierre, the ends are embellished by 2 or 3 incisions, at Saint Bonnet, and finally at Vallouise we see trefoil and slightly openworked ends. " (Paul Bisch, Some Notes on Dauphinois Jewels) (3)  Most of these crosses have bevelled edges, however some are made of very thin gold sheet, cut out and engraved with triangles.  It is not yet clear to me where these latter crosses, illustrated below, were worn.


 

    
Dauphiné cross in gold

 

 


Dauphiné cross in gold

 

 

 

 

The Avignon cross


Avignon crosses in gold

 

 


Avignon cross in gold

 

 

 


map of the Dauphiné region
Click on the photo to see in high resolution

 

 

The Dauphiné Protestant ring

 



rare Protestant ring from the Dauphiné region in enamelled brass

 

 

 

The plate pattée cross of Nice

 


 plate pattée cross from Nice, gold


 


 

 plate pattée cross from Nice, gold

 
Flat Maltese style cross with a central round cabochon. The slide is decorated with a repoussé flower.
 

 

 

The flowered cross from Nice

 

-


Flowered cross from Nice, gold

 

 

 


Flowered cross from Nice, gold

 bijoux de France - French regional jewelry -

 

         
Flowered cross from Nice, gold, recto, verso

 

 

         
Flowered cross from Nice, gold, recto, verso

 

 

 

 

The Mistralienne cross


 Mistralienne cross in gold and rose-cut diamonds

 

 

 

Jewels in coral


two necklaces in gold and coral

 

 


necklace in gold and coral

 

 

 


cross in gold and coral
 

 


coral and gold cross

 
cross in gold and coral

 

 

 

 

Earrings

 


earrings and ear pendants

 

 

 

                 
provencal earrings and ear pendants in gold, silver and diamonds

 

ntique jew


gold créole earrings

 


 


gold créole earrings

 

 

 

 

Shawl pins

 

                   
provençale shawl pins in gold and rose-cut diamonds

 

 

 

Arlesian watch brooches

 

         
brooches worn in Arles to suspend small ladies watches

 

 

elry

 bijoux de France - French region

 bijoux de France - French

The Camargue cross


 Camargue cross in silver, modern

 

The Camargue was created in 1926 by Hermann Paul and rapidly adopted by the Camarguais as a symbol of their region.

 


 Camargue cross in gold, modern

 

 

 

 

The Marseillais necklace

 


The Marseillais necklace consists of an assembly of hollow graduated gold beads, strung together with the largest balls towards the center. On the oldest necklaces, the beads were threaded on a linen thread, but the fragility of the latter resulted in it being replaced with a smooth chain of square section. These necklaces were, in the past, a form of savings for women, allowing them to add or resell beads according to the state of their finances.

Families in Marseilles often bought the first beads at the birth of a girl and added one or more beads at each birthday; the complete necklace being offered for the sixteenth birthday or for the first communion. In other parts of France, we see the same tradition but with a necklace of cultured pearls, whose pearls were offered by the godmother or a relative on each birthday.

Today the Marseille necklace is still popular in the south, but the beads are no longer strung on a chain but are now connected by loops of gold. Almost all the old Marseille necklaces I bought had beads which were very worn from rubbing against the chain and I suspect that the use of a chain was abandoned for this reason. That said, I never got around to photographing one of these old necklaces and I hope that a reader will send me a photo.

 

 

 

 


modern Marseillais necklace of gold beads

 

 

 

Pentacrine-set jewellery

The spa town of Digne-les-Bains became famous in the nineteenth century not only for its health-giving waters, but also for its production of pentacrine-set jewellery.  The pentacrine is a star-shaped fossil which is in fact a segment of the stem of a fossilised animal which esembled a sea-anemone.  Created initially by the jeweller Antoine Colomb around 1850, pentacrine-set jewels were avidly sought after as souvenirs by tourists visiting the town.  Note the two brooches below with the motif of a comet, probably sold during the passage of Halley's comet in 1910.  Digne les Bains was a popular vantage point to observe the passage of Halley's comet (and the sight was much more impressive in 1910 than in 1986!)

 



brooch set with pentacrines, 
silver, Digne-les-Bain
s


tie-pin set with a pentacrine, 
gold, Digne-les-Bain
s

pendant set with a pentacrine, 
silver, Digne-les-Bain
s

    

 


gold brooch set with fossilised pentacrines,
c1910 (Halley's comet) from Digne-les-Bains

 


silver brooch set with fossilised pentacrines,
c1910 (during the passage of Halley's comet)
from Digne-les-Bains

 

 

 


silver brooch set with a fossilised pentacrine, Digne-les-Bains


ring set with a pentacrine fossil, silver, Digne-les-Bains

 


gold brooch set with three pentacrine fossils, Digne-les-Bains

 

 

 

Other Provençal jewellery

 

 

"The peasants of Aix and Arles coquettishly wear with their costumes, very brilliant jewels of a form quite unusual elsewhere: they are shells in gold 
and silver or metallic flowers of a meticulous work. " (4)

 

 

 


The church of Our Lady of Mercy at Martigues.  The jewels which had been draped on the statue of Mary by grateful pilgrims have now been deposited at the Ziem museum in Martigues

 

 

 

 


Jewels from the church of Our Lady of Mercy at Martigues as they are now displayed at the Ziem museum in Martigues

 

 

         
Jewels from the church of Our Lady of Mercy at Martigues as they are now displayed at the Ziem museum in Martigues

 

 

 


Arlesien costumes and jewellery according to Racinet in Le Costume Historique

 

 

 


French folk dress from Briançon, antique postcard

 

 

 

Antoine Raspal


French folk dress from Marseille, antique photo

 

 

(1)  WAHLEN, Auguste., Moeurs, usages et costumes de tous les peoples du monde, A la librairie Historique, 1844

(2)   POULENC, Monique & MARGERIE, Anne-Michèle., Les bijoux traditionnels français, Musée des arts et traditions populaires, RMN, 2005     *****

(3)   BISCH, Paul., Quelques notes sur les Bijoux Dauphinois, Procès-Verbaux de la Société Dauphinoise d'Ethnologie et d'Archéologie, N° 215-216-217, janvier-février-mars 1952   **

(4)   France, commission supérieure, Expositions Internationales, Londres 1872, Imprimerie Nationale, 1873

 

 

contents:

Antoine Raspal - bijoux régionaux - bijoux des régions de France - bijoux provençaux - pentacrines - bague pentacrine - broche pentacrine - bague en corail - broche en corail croix Mistralienne - croix plate de Nice - collier d'Arles - croix Marie Antoinette - croix Capucine - costume provençal - costume Arlésienne - croix dévote - croix Jeannette d'Arles - Les bijoutiers d'étoiles de Saint Vincent de Digne par Viviane Hervois - Le bijou provençal : parures du quotidien et bijoux de fête - Les bijoux traditionnels français par Monique Poulenc et Anne-Michèle Margerie, traditional French jewellery, jewelry, French regional jewellery, antieke zeeuwse streeksieraden in zeeland friesland, Le bijou provençal parures du quotidien et bijoux de fête - Kertenian Rémy - Brabantse klederdrachten en streeksieraden

 

 

Provence - Alpes - Côte d'Azur