Categories of Necklaces

In a previous post, I described the names for the different lengths of pearl necklaces.  These length names can also apply to other necklaces.  I have also discussed the different types of chains in another post.  Necklaces can also be categorized using the different terms as outlined below:

Bavette

A bavette is a necklace made of different lengths brought together at the clasp.

The word ‘bavette’ comes from the French word meaning ‘bib’.

AN ANTIQUE NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND NECKLACE

AN ANTIQUE NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND NECKLACE
Christie’s Sale 3011

Bib

A bib necklace is a necklace which has a bib like shape, with hanging strands of beads or gemstones or other decorative elements.

Necklace

England, c. 1867
Necklace enameled gold, hung with cameos of chalcedony and onyx
Firm of John Brogden
V&A Museum

Chute

A ‘chute’ refers to a pearl necklace with smaller pearls near the clasp.

A natural pearl necklace

A natural pearl necklace.
Christie’s Sale 8127

Collière d’Esclavage (Slave Necklace)

These were particularly popular during the Georgian era.

These necklaces are characterized as cameos or plaques or other decorative elements connected by chains or cords.

Necklace

Rome, c. 1810
Necklace, micromosaics, cut blue glass and moulded gold
V&A Museum

Dog Collar (Collier de Chien)

This is a necklace that fits close to the neck, normally quite wide.

The fashion, widespread in the Edwardian era, was begun by Queen Alexandra who reportedly wore them to hide a scar on her neck.

Queen Alexandra, Princess of Wales Wearing a Dog Collar

Fringe Necklace

This is a necklace which has dangling elements circling the neck.

This style was particularly popularized in the archaeological revival styles of the late 19th century and again in the 1950s.

Necklace

England, late 19th century
Necklace, gold and Egyptian beads
V&A Museum

Lariat

Lariat necklaces have a noose shape that goes around the neck. They can be tightened by pulling the ends of the necklace up toward the throat or loosened by pulling the necklace downward.

A GOLD AND MULTI-GEM LARIAT NECKLACE, BY ILIAS LALAOUNIS

A GOLD AND MULTI-GEM LARIAT NECKLACE, BY ILIAS LALAOUNIS
Christie’s Sale 2177

Lavallière (lavalier or lavaliere)

This refers to a necklace, usually of chain, with a single drop pendant, often a pearl.

This style of necklace was especially popular around 1900.

The name comes from Louise Françoise de La Baume Le Blanc, duchesse de La Vallière (1644-1710), mistress of Louis XIV.

Coincidentally, lavallière it is also the French word for ‘cravat’.

A CULTURED PEARL AND DIAMOND PENDENT NECKLACE, BY CARTIER

A CULTURED PEARL AND DIAMOND PENDENT NECKLACE, BY CARTIER
Christie’s Sale 2968

Medallion

This is a type of pendant, usually disc or circular shaped.

Medallion

England, c. 1787
White Jasper with a black relief and mounted in gilt-metal
Medallion worn by advocates for the abolition of slavery.
V&A Museum

Négligée

This is a necklace comprised often of fine chain links but not necessarily with two parallel pendants suspended at slightly different heights.

This type of necklace began to be popular around 1900.

AN ART DECO EMERALD AND DIAMOND NECKLACE

AN ART DECO EMERALD AND DIAMOND NECKLACE
Christie’s Sale 1362

Pendant

A pendant refers to a singular decorative element usually hanging from a chain or ribbon, but can also be hanging from a beaded or other kind of necklace.

A BELLE ÉPOQUE DIAMOND PENDANT NECKLACE
A BELLE ÉPOQUE DIAMOND PENDANT NECKLACE
Christie’s Sale 2604

Rivière

These are necklaces made of gemstones all of the same size or graduating that go all the way around the necklace.

Popular since around 1750 until today.

Necklace

England, c. 1800
Necklace pastes in silver and gold
V&A Museum

Sautoir

A sautoir is a long necklace with an ornament or tassel hanging from the bottom.

The fashion for sautoir necklaces became particularly very popular in the early part of the 20th century through the Art Deco period.

Necklace

France, c. 1920
Sautoir necklace of seed pearls, diamonds and platinum.
V&A Museum

Torsade

A torsade is a necklace or bracelet comprised of lengths of beads or chain that are twisted.

A seed pearl, sapphire and diamond torsade and a pair of gem-set earrings

A seed pearl, sapphire and diamond torsade and a pair of gem-set earrings
Christie’s Sale 6169

Sources / further reading:

http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Necklace_Styles

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