|Malachite and Pearl Parure|
The Empress Josephine led fashion in France and her elegant style carried over to England. She was noted for her taste and restraint, but Bonaparte had no such inclination. He was as fond of jewels in the hilts of his swords as he was of crowns and diamonds scattered about on watches, clocks and his ladies.
After divorcing Josephine, in 1810, Bonaparte had the Parisian jeweler Etiene Nitot et Fils craft an emerald and diamond parure for his new empress, Marie-Louise with 138 emeralds, 382 rose-cut diamonds and 2,162 brilliant-cut diamonds. The parure included a diadem, necklace, earrings, comb and belt clasp. The rose-cut is no longer in fashion, but the parts of the parure that survived intact—the necklace and earrings—are lovely and now live in the Louve. (Bonaparte also gave Marie-Louise two more parures, one of diamonds and one of pearls and diamonds that were mean to be part of the French Crown Jewels.)
|Made by T. Gray|
|Rundell and Bridges on Ludgate Hill|
Thomas Gray on Sackville Street was patronized by young Prince George and is listed as active until 1805. Stedman and Vardon are also listed in as jewelers to Queen Charlotte in 1796 (and in 1795 as John Stedman, Samuel Vardon and Thomas Vardon), Goldsmiths and Jewelers at 36 New Bond Street.
In 1815, the Congress of Vienna mixed English aristocrats with European once more and held lavish balls, masquerades, and the jewels once associated with royalty returned. While daytime jewelry remained restrained—a watch, broach, or a ring—evening wear became more fussy (frills, ribbons, ruffles) and for important occasions, ladies again began to done their finest jewelry of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies to show off their wealth and status.