Necklace and earrings, Nitot & Fils

Necklace and earrings, Nitot & Fils

Necklace and earrings
Nitot & Fils
France
About 1806
Faceted table-cut emeralds in borders of brilliant-cut diamonds; briolette emerald drops; open-set in gold and silver
Length 41.0cm
Museum no. M.3A&B-1979
© Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Part of a parure presented by Napoleon to his adopted daughter Stephanie de Beauharnais (1789-1860), a connection of the Empress Joséphine, on her marriage to the Grand Duke of Baden's heir in 1806. Probably made by Nitot. The marriage was arranged to consolidate the Confederacy of the Rhine. A photograph of Gerard's portrait of the bride wearing the complete parure is shown with the necklace and earrings. The painting belongs to the Grand Duke of Baden.

This necklace and earrings are part of a larger set or parure of jewellery. It is believed that the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and his consort Joséphine gave them to their adopted daughter, Stéphanie de Beauharnais, on her arranged marriage to the heir of the Grand Duke of Baden in 1806. The marriage was arranged to consolidate the Confederacy of the Rhine.

Nitot & Fils, the principal jewellers to Napoleon and Joséphine, probably made the necklace. The large stones and the simplicity of design are typical of jewellery favoured at the court of Napoleon. The emerald drops at the back of the necklace can be detached and worn as earrings. They are later in date.