composed of a shaped triangular pendant framed by diamonds, centred with a 19th century agate cameo depicting a theatrical mask bordered with diamonds and surrounded by three panels of gold leaves against a green enamelled ground, hung with a baroque pearl drop, the whole suspended from a diamond-set chain.
Engraved to the border ‘Falize 1907’ in capitals.
Height: 7.2 cm
Contained in its original brown tooled leather case, the lid satin reading ‘Falize/Orfèvre joaillier/6 Rue d’Antin/Paris’, premises occupied by the Falize firm from 1882 until 1911. The reverse of the case bears a label with the handwritten words ‘Falize/PENDENTIF/Masque Tragique no.45’. The jewel is believed to have been owned by the chaser Paul Louchet, who may have affixed said label to the box.
The Master Jewellers, edited by A.K. Snowman ‘Falize’ by Katherine Purcell, pp.62-76, colour plate p. 65 (Thames and Hudson, 1990).
Falize, A Dynasty of Jewellers by Katherine Purcell p.218 (Thames and Hudson), 1999.
This work by the third generation of the Falize family of jewellers known as Falize Frères, is highly unusual in their oeuvre. Rarely were cameos or intaglios incorporated in the firm’s creations and this jewel may have been specifically commissioned by the owner of the cameo with which it is centred, accounting for not only the engraved date on the work but also its significant scale.
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