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The Victoria & Albert Museum
We've looked at several pieces by the Nineteenth Century French jewelers Froment -Meurice. This piece in coral, gold, silver, pearls and a shimmering rose-cut diamond is one of the most exceptional.
Coral has long been valued, used as a jewel since antiquity and believed to be an amulet which could protect against the evil eye. For the latter reason, it was was often worn by children or used in rosaries.
Froment-Meurice, like other jewelers of the era, looked back at historical designs. This piece is a perfect example of that mentality. This pendant with a coral cameo depicting Bacchus has a sculpted gold frame decorated with winged mermaids and hung with pearls and diamond sparks. It was probably one of the last sets of jewelry to be sold by the Paris jeweler François-Désiré Froment-Meurice before his death in 1855 .