Posted 6 years ago
Gold and silver hair ornament/necklace in original fitted case, circa 1875, from the firm of Charles Fontana and Cie, Rue Royale, Paris.
The firm was founded by a Swiss jeweler, Thomas Fontana, in the Galerie Beaujolais in Paris in 1840. The business flourished and was renamed Charles Fontana et Cie in 1871. The company developed a reputation for the quality of their craftsmenship and their innovative designs. Today the Fontana archives belong to Chaumet.
This delightful piece is typical of Fontana's quality and sensitivity of design. A demure cherub wearing a gold and rose-cut diamond crown and collar, is adorned with silver wings encrusted with rose-cut diamonds. The finial of the piece is inset with a ruby. It can be worn as a hair ornament when attached to its gold and tortoiseshell comb or as a necklace when attached to its gold chain.
The cherub is 1.5 inches long and 3/4 of an inch wide. The haircomb measures 3 and 3/4 inches by 3/4 of an inch and the chain is 16 inches long. The fitted case is embossed with a coronet and the initals M R M. Beautifully executed and immaculate.