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:
A bavette is a necklace made of different lengths brought together at the clasp.
The word ‘bavette’ comes from the French word meaning ‘bib’.
A bib necklace is a necklace which has a bib like shape, with hanging strands of beads or gemstones or other decorative elements.
A ‘chute’ refers to a pearl necklace with smaller pearls near the clasp.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
This is a type of pendant, usually disc or circular shaped.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A torsade is a necklace or bracelet comprised of lengths of beads or chain that are twisted.
” A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls” – Coco Chanel
To continue on from my post yesterday, ‘Pearl Basics’, I am going to discuss the names of the different lengths of pearl necklaces (and, in fact, all necklaces).
This measures 10 to 13 inches or 25 to 33 cm in length. It sits directly against the throat and does not hang. Collars can be a single strand or a multiple strands of pearls.
This measures 14 to 16 inches or 35 to 41 cm in length. It nestles just at the base of the neck.
This measures 17 to 19 inches or 43 to 48 cm in length. It comes down to or just below the collarbone.
This measures 20 to 24 inches or 50 to 60 cm in length and it falls just above the breasts.
This measures 28 to 35 inches or 70 to 90 cm in length. It usually reaches the breastbone or sternum.
Pearl rope or Sautoir
This measures more than 45 inches or 115 cm in length. It is any length that falls down farther than an opera.
Necklaces can also be classified as uniform or graduated. Freshwater pearls, Tahitian pearls and South Sea pearls must all measure to within a millimeter to be considered uniform. They are called ‘tin-cup’ when they are separated by lengths of chain.
Sources / further reading:
Louis Édouard Rioult – Portrait Of A Lady Wearing Coral Jewellery
Antique, untreated coral is one of the most loved of materials in antique jewelry. It is considered to be one of the ‘organic gemstones’ (the other two being amber and jet and pearls). Women who first own a piece of old coral jewelry soon become addicted to it and tend to become collectors. There is something truly sumptuous and almost edible about antique, untreated coral. It has long been worn as a talisman and later for its pure beauty; it was considered by the Victorians to promote good health and vitality, and you can really believe that it does once you experience wearing it.
One of the wonderful things about coral is that it tends to adapt over time to the woman who is wearing it and will subtly change color in a very organic way. Many women have reported a feeling of ‘rightness’ about their particular piece of coral jewelry, as though the piece is actually part of them. Coral ranges from white, to ‘Angel Skin’, to ‘Salmon’, to ‘Oxblood’ and every nuance in between.
28 – 29 October 2009
London, King Street