SOLD ITEM 3803 - Antique French Gold Slave Necklace

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Antique French Gold Slave Necklace. Collier d'Esclavage. "slave necklace". A complete example of early 19th century French regional jewelry. The gift of a "slave" necklace was a marital tradition in most of France's most fortunate regions. It symbolically represented the transmission of wealth and at the same time the bride's engagement made on the wedding day to produce a bounty of children for each additional plaque of gold and its chains corresponded to a subsequent birth. The "esclavage" was an important investment reserved for those with important means. Each chain of the esclavage necklace represents the price of a pair orf oxen, or a thousand francs, which in the 19th century was a very important sum. This "esclavage" in 18k yellow gold has five medallions, the engraved decors of the four exterior medallions are pansy flowers and the central plaque is that of a heart symbolizing eternal love. The four similar medallions which represent the children are connected to the central uniting plaque by one jaseron chain and three important "fantasy" chains of exquisite conception and execution. Dates to the beginning of the 19th century. Normandy..20 grams in weight. No original hallmarks, recent owl hallmark for 18k gold.
 
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