I’ve got some May flowers for you right here!
This is a ruby and diamond plaque-de-cou from 1905. A plaque-de-cou was a variation of the “collier de chien” that was popular in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. If you took as much high school French as I did, you might be sitting there scratching your head and thinking, “seriously? They put these on DOGS?”
Sadly for the dogs, they didn’t. Collier de chien (or “dog collar”) was just what choker-style necklaces were called. A plaque-de-cou is a collier de chien featuring a large rectangular or square plaque suspended on a ribbon or strands of pearls. (Source.)
This one is particularly ornate. The center of the design is an elaborate openwork basket full of flowers, suspended from the diamond-studded bow at the top of the plaque. The basket is also set with rose diamonds and accented with calibré-cut rubies.
The basket full of flowers is within a frame of ribbon, bow and floral swag design similarly set with rose-cut diamonds. A pear-shaped diamond drop dangles from the bottom of the plaque. The plaque is suspended on a wide moiré silk ribbon.
This lovely piece was listed in Sotheby’s December 2012 Fine Jewels auction. All images and info are thanks to Sotheby’s.