Centre and Loire valley

Centre and Loire valley

 

 

 

The Val de Loire cross

 


Val-de-Loire cross in gold

 

The Val-de-Loire cross is a double-sided Latin cross with fleur-de-lys ends and rays emanating from between the arms forming a square. On the obverse a figure of Christ, on the reverse, the Holy Mary.

 

              
Val-de-Loire cross in silver, hallmarked at Blois


 

 

 

The Anjou Jeannette cross

 


 Jeannette cross with pendants, Anjou region, gold plated

 

 

The cross Jeannette d'Anjou is a hollow Jeannette cross garnished with three faceted diamond pendants terminated by spheres. The unique shape of the pendants hanging from the Anjou Jeannette cross is probably based upon that of the three nails of the True Cross, the sphere at the tip perhaps representing a tear-drop. Below you can see how the nails were representeded on the engraving decorating an early 19th-century reliquary cross; the similarity is quite marked. 

 


nails from the crucifxion engraved on a silver reliquary cross

 


 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold

 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold

 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold-plated and enamelled

 

 

 

 
 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold
 
 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold plated
 

 

 

 

The Anjou baton cross


 Baton cross with pendants, Anjou region, gold

 

The Anjou baton cross is a  basic baton cross garnished by three rhombus-shaped faceted pendants tipped with spheres.

 

 

 

The flat cross


18th century flat cross in silver

 

 

 

The Berry "jardinière" cross


Berry cross from Bourges region, in silver

 

The Berry “jardinière” cross is a hollow Latin cross garnished with three pendants which are either sbaped like drops or like faceted nails with spheres at the tips. The top of the cross is equipped with a suspension ring attached to either a simple loop or a fleur-de-lys motif. The faces are engraved with various motifs such as a sun, flowers, animals, objects of the Passion of Christ and acronyms such as AM, MA, AV or MHA. The cross is often suspended by two chains from a rectangular slide with truncated corners fitted with two flanges on the rear and engraved with the letters AM separated by a burning heart on the front.

 

         
Berry cross from Bourges region, in silver

 

 

 

         
Berry cross from the Bourges region, in gold

 

 

 

The faith ring

faith ring or fede ring, englarged 2X

 

These faith rings or fede rings, also called big-heart rings, are associated with Brittany but are in fact engagement rings of Vendée origin. In Brittany they were mostly adopted by sailors. In the 19th century the jeweler always offered the bride, at the time of purchase of the faith ring, a simple ring called a coral ring or coraline, to avoid wear of the wedding ring. By 1908 this custom still existed in some rare areas of the Vendée Maritime and Saint-Gilles but had disappeared at Les Sables d'Olonne. Lionel Bonnemère, in a conference in Paris in 1903, showed how these rings were exported and imitated in Congo by the natives of the country.

 

 

 

The ring "à l'Anglaise"


Vendee ring "à l'anglaise" in gold and glass

 

Vendéen ring called "à l'anglaise", very popular in the region. The rings exist in gold or silver, the rhinestones may be colored or colorless, and the two rhinestones shouldering the middle rhinestones, round or square. According to Lionel Bonnemère, "In Challans, there was once a local jewelery factory run by a man named Reguin, who has been dead for 16 years and used to make all types of of  marshland jewels, in other words worn by the inhabitants of the Vendée marshlands."

 

 

Ring "à la française"

 

                   
 'Bagues à la française' en or et strass

 

 

It should be noted that the moulds and dies used to make the French rings known as "bague à la Française", popular in Vendée and Normandy, were also used to make "poissarde" earrings, brooches and even some stick-pins.



 

 

Guimbarde brooches

 


Men's guimbarde brooch decorated with double hearts and used to hold the shirt closed, silver

 

 


illustration from 1903 showing how the guimbarde pin was used to close the shirt

 

         
men's heart-shaped guimbarde topped with a crown and pierced by an arrow, silver

 

 

 


men's heart-shaped guimbarde pin topped with a crown and a crucifix and pierced by an arrow, silver, 1798-1809

 


men's double heart-shaped guimbarde pin topped with a crown and a cross and pierced by an arrow, silver,

 

 


Vendéen brooch in stamped out and engraved silver

 

 


Vendéen stick-pin in stamped out and engraved silver


Chouan pendant in silver, modern

 

 

 

 

The Sablaise cameo ear pendants


gold shell cameo ear pendants popular at Les Sables d'Olonne, gold

 

The manufacture of these "Sablaise earrings" or "brisures", in gold set with small shell cameos, has long been the specialty of the town of Niort which supplied Les Sables-d'Olonne with these particular jewels. According to Lionel Bonnemère, these pendants were called "The portrait" and they replaced the old ear pendants set with a red or green stone.

 

 

                   
gold shell cameo ear pendants

 

 


paire of coiffe pins in gold, collected in Laval

 

 

 

 

The "chemisette" of Chartres

         
chemisette of Chartres, souvenir medal in brass of the Holy tunic (of Mary)

 

The cathedral of Chartres holds a much venerated relic purported to be the tunic worn by the Holy Mary.  The many pilgrims to the Chartres cathedral, one of the largest and finest gothic cathedrals in the world, enjoy buying a souvenir of this relic, known as a “chemisette de Chartres”, (little tunic of Chartres.) or "chemisette Notre-Dame"  These souvenirs can be in the form of a simple brass or silver tunic-shaped medal and even silver reliquaries.

 

 

 

Cape and coat catches

   
overcoat catch in engraved and openworked silver

 

 

Below is a selection of silver cape catches, collected in Tours, but which were all made in Paris. The manufacturers in Paris and Niort sold their goods all over France.

 

 

 

   
cape catch in stamped silver

 

 

    
cape catch in stamped and chiseled silver

 

   
cape catch in stamped and chiseled silver

 



 

 

 

 
Market gardener from Vendée with cape and silver cape clips

 

 

   
French regional jewellery - Touraine region

 

 

  

 

 

 
costumes from Guérande

   

 


French folk costume from Sables d'Olonne

 

 

 


French regional jewellery and costumes - coiffe d'Anjou

 

 


French regional jewellery and costumes - Les Sablaises

 

 


folk-costume worn by a salt harvester, Pays de la Loire region

 

 


folk-dress from Les Sables d'Olonne

 

 

 


Embroideries and jewellery from Brittany according to Racinet in La Costume Historique, 1888

double-click on any photo to see it in a much better resoluton

 

 

Contact me with your suggestions, corrections, photos, questions and comments!

 

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 - Brabantse klederdrachten en streeksieraden

 

Centre and Loire valley