A flat, symmetrical bow that was traditionally worn centered low on the bodice, sévignés were immensely popular in the 17th and 18th centuries, thanks in large part to their namesake -- French aristocrat Madame de Sévigné.
A member of the court of King Louis XIV, Madame de Sévigné (also known as Marie de Rabutin-Chantal) is most remembered and revered for her witty and vivid letter writing and is considered to be one of France's great 17th century literary icons.
In the jewelry and fashion world, however, she is known for her immense love of bow brooches -- often wearing three at a time -- and for single-handedly thrusting the sévigné into popularity.
The bow motif fell out of fashion during the French Revolution, but reemerged in the early 1900s as a favored design motif of Edwardian ladies.
Traditionally a symbol of love and marriage (or tying the knot), bow jewelry is also known to transmit secret messages depending on how and where one places it: A bow attached to a ribbon adorning a person's neck is said to suggest a playful side. Wearing a bow-shaped brooch close to the heart is a sign of being in love.
Whether you wear this sévigné as a necklace or a brooch, it is guaranteed to make a statement! The photos do not do justice to the amount of sparkle this stunner has!
Expertly crafted in sterling silver and encrusted in dozens of twinkling marcasite stones, this jaw-dropping brooch features a heavily faceted 12 carat rose cut amethyst centerpiece surrounded by beautiful, engraved gold gilt detailing.
This piece has a lovely movement about it, which allows it to sparkle in any light.
Date: Early 1900s
Materials: Sterling silver, gold gilt, amethyst, marcasite
Measurements: 1 3/8" x 2 1/4"
Condition: Very Good
Silver has light surface scratches consistent with age and wear. Amethyst also has a couple of very faint surface scratches, but nothing that detracts from its clarity. There is some wear to the gold gilt at the top of the amethyst. It looks as though someone may have tried to do a gold scratch test and in doing so scratched off the gilt. The silver and marcasite directly above the gilt also has some minor damage as a result. However, that damage is less noticeable to the naked eye.
Cleaning and Care
Clean gently with warm soap and water and a soft bristled brush. Dry thoroughly.