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Georgian Pear Vinaigrette and Patch Case

About Details History
This unassuming pear-shaped pendant is so much more than meets the eye. Fashioned in steel in the early 19th century, this piece does double duty as both a vinaigrette and a patch case. The perforated base unscrews and is meant to house a piece of cloth or cotton wool soaked in perfume or vinegar (to combat the unpleasant odors of everyday life in the year 1800). The top also unscrews to reveal a compartment designed to hold faux beauty marks known as patches, plasters or mouches (French for "flies"). These artificial beauty marks were fashioned in the shape of circles, stars, even crescent moons, using black silk taffeta or velvet backed in an adhesive resin. Patches were a clever way to conceal pock marks and scars by turning these blemishes into a bold fashion do. Hangs from a new 18" sterling silver chain.


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  • Materials: steel, new sterling silver chain
  • Age: c. 1800
  • Condition: Very good - surface wear and patina commensurate with age and use
  • Size: 2.75" length including the bale, 5/8" width, 18" chain

The French called them mouches or “flies,” because of the dark spots' resemblance to small insects alighted on fashionably pale skin. In England, artificial beauty marks were known as “plaisters” or patches, since they often covered scars and pockmarks, thereby transforming a blemish into a feature.

Unlike our modern concept of realistic, discreet beauty marks, these patches were designed to stand out, playing to the Renaissance ideals of visibly enhanced beauty. Made from black silk taffeta or velvet, patches were often sold with an adhesive backside of resin-based mastic, though they could also be stuck on with saliva. Most patches were simple round dots, but some were cut into intricate shapes of small crescent moons, diamonds, or stars.

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GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
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About Details History
This unassuming pear-shaped pendant is so much more than meets the eye. Fashioned in steel in the early 19th century, this piece does double duty as both a vinaigrette and a patch case. The perforated base unscrews and is meant to house a piece of cloth or cotton wool soaked in perfume or vinegar (to combat the unpleasant odors of everyday life in the year 1800). The top also unscrews to reveal a compartment designed to hold faux beauty marks known as patches, plasters or mouches (French for "flies"). These artificial beauty marks were fashioned in the shape of circles, stars, even crescent moons, using black silk taffeta or velvet backed in an adhesive resin. Patches were a clever way to conceal pock marks and scars by turning these blemishes into a bold fashion do. Hangs from a new 18" sterling silver chain.


less
more

  • Materials: steel, new sterling silver chain
  • Age: c. 1800
  • Condition: Very good - surface wear and patina commensurate with age and use
  • Size: 2.75" length including the bale, 5/8" width, 18" chain

The French called them mouches or “flies,” because of the dark spots' resemblance to small insects alighted on fashionably pale skin. In England, artificial beauty marks were known as “plaisters” or patches, since they often covered scars and pockmarks, thereby transforming a blemish into a feature.

Unlike our modern concept of realistic, discreet beauty marks, these patches were designed to stand out, playing to the Renaissance ideals of visibly enhanced beauty. Made from black silk taffeta or velvet, patches were often sold with an adhesive backside of resin-based mastic, though they could also be stuck on with saliva. Most patches were simple round dots, but some were cut into intricate shapes of small crescent moons, diamonds, or stars.

less
more
GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
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more