Fifteen-piece parure in leather case
Not on view
This matching jewelry set, or parure, consists of seventeen different elements including a tiara, a necklace, two pairs of bracelets, a lorgnette, and a pair of earrings. The pieces are decorated with multifaceted and polished nails or studs that reflect the light, mimicking the appearance of sparkling diamonds. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, cut steel was a fashionable but not necessarily less-expensive substitute for precious metals and gemstones in jewelry. Napoleon presented a cut-steel parure to his second wife, Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, and King Louis XVIII acquired a similar set at the Paris Exposition des Produits de l’Industrie of 1823.
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