A parure is a complete matching set of jewelry, usually consisting of a brooch, a ring, a bracelet, a pair of earrings and a necklace. Some parures can have many more pieces and can include matching tiaras, diadems, stomachers, aigrettes, sevignes and buttons. Wearing an entire parure is referred to as ‘en suite’. The word ‘parure’ comes from the French ‘parer’ meaning ‘to adorn’. A demi-parure has less pieces and usually consists of two or sometimes three pieces, often a necklace and matching earrings.
Parures have been popular since the 1600s. They reached a height of popularity in the Napoleonic era and are especially associated with France, although other European nations also owned them. Although more of a Victorian concept, parures can be found into the Art Deco era. Because of the number of children people used to have, parures were frequently divided out in inheritances and it is rare to find a complete parure. A complete set is considered more valuable when sold together than its individual parts.
AN ANTIQUE GOLD PARURE
Comprising a sculpted gold necklace of foliate motif; two bracelets, a brooch, a pair of ear pendants and a tiara en suite, circa 1830, necklace 17½ ins., bracelets 7 ins., with French assay marks, French importation marks and maker’s marks, in a red leather fitted case (6)
Christie’s Sale 2694
AN ANTIQUE PINK TOPAZ, ENAMEL, DIAMOND AND GOLD PARURE
Comprising: a comb tiara set with a fringe of oval pink topazes to the openwork gold, blue enamel and diamond decoration; a necklace/choker with removeable links supporting a detachable plaque brooch and topaz pendant; a pair of earrings with detachable pendants (may be added to necklace/brooch combination); and a brooch with pendant hoop, all of neo-classical and foliate design, mounted in silver and gold, circa 1840
Christie’s Sale 1368
Parure of Gold and Silver and Coral by Jean Despres
Christie’s Sale 5557
AN ANTIQUE FER DE BERLIN DEMI PARURE
Christie’s Sale 3026
A Victorian coral demi-parure c. 1850
Christie’s Sale 8127
A Victorian gold and amethyst demi-parure
Christie’s Sale 6423