The Creative Museum has just acquired this French seed pearl diadem. The horse-head marking on one tine indicates it was made c. 1789 – 1798, during the French Revolution.
In 1791, the Chapelier law abolished corporate rights to control precious metals. Corporations could not punch a company mark on the pieces they made and could not have any say in deciding how they would be taxed. However the Association of Goldsmiths created four “revolutionary punches,” one of which, the horse-head, is found on this comb. They did it to control the quality of manufacturing.
In this breathtaking diadem, each seed pearl is strung to a narrow, delicate wire, which is then held inside carved grooves. It has 4 “galleries.” On top is a spectacular row of seed pearls in circular motion. Underneath comes a carved section with three tones of gold, followed by narrow rows of seed pearls and yellow gold.
For more scholarly research, please examine
What Marie Antoinette Wore to the
Le Peigne Dans Le Monde
Napoléon et les joyaux de l’Empire