A Rare Suite of Jewellery by Falize,

Paris, c.1900

comprising of a panelled bracelet, brooch and buckle, mounted in gold and decorated with luminous translucent enamels over metallic foils, representing cranes and lovebirds against an opaque sage green background. This is a rare example of a demi-parure by Falize to have survived. The sophistication of the cloisonné like enamelling is characteristic of the firm’s work, which was established by the founder of the business Alexis Falize and continued by his son Lucien, and his grandsons André, Jean and Pierre.


Illustrated on page 225 of Katherine Purcell’s ‘Falize: A Dynasty of Jewelers’ (Thames and Hudson, 1999).

The birds decorating each panel of the bracelet consist of lovebirds known in French as ‘inséparables’, and cranes which according to legend mate for life, demonstrating that this jewel is intended as a token of love. The reverse of the bracelet is decorated with ivy leaves against a brown enamelled background,
the central panel bearing the Falize monogram of a diamond-set ring suspended with a pearl, interwoven with a blue enamelled ribbon forming the shape of a heart within the ring.

The presence of ivy denotes the tenacity of love while the blue enamelled ribbon stylised as a true lover’s knot is symbolic of marriage, a convention still adhered to in ‘something borrowed, something blue’. The Falize monogram is itself emblematic of love, the diamond for eternal passion while the pearl symbolises Venus, both being born from the sea and the shell.

The buckle and brooch are similarly decorated, the reverse of the brooch bearing the Falize monogram for the third generation of the firm, Falize Frères, against a foiled turquoise enamelled background, the reverse of the buckle decorated with scrolled Celtic motifs against an opaque enamelled turquoise background.