As discussed in the last post, a festoon necklace is one where chains (metal or gem set) hang in swags or drapes usually ending in a central point at the front. But the definitions of festoon referred to ‘garlands’ and a garland is defined as ‘a wreath of flowers or leaves; …a crown; ornament’. So is there such a style as a garland necklace, one which is not a festoon necklace? The style seems to be originally associated with the Rococco period in the mid 18th century and to comprise ribbons of foliate motifs supporting an ornate central drop or garlands of flowers set with gemstones, with ribbon motifs and a central drop (Daniela Mascetti and Amanda Triossi, The Necklace, p 76).

The Victorians love of nature led in the mid 19th century to a focus on plants and flowers, insects, and animals which began to be represented in jewellery. As well, there were influences like the Grand Tour and jewellery like the micromosaics from Florence which featured flowers and garlands ( as well as Classical buildings).

Beautiful antique micromosaic garland necklace

The style re-surfaced at the end of the Victorian period when Faberge and Cartier designed beautiful diamond necklaces with foliate and floral garland motifs (Mascetti and Triossi, p 138). There is a lovely example of a garland necklace at a Christie’s auction in 2021 and another one at Bentley and Skinner Unlike the French gold garland necklace at the top of the post, the two above were set in platinum. This newly introduced metal was very hard and strong and enabled lots of diamonds to be set into ornate open flower settings without overloading the metal.

If you couldn’t diamonds and platinum or you wanted something a little less ornate, then there was always a more subdued necklace set with seed pearls in floriate designs.

Victorian seed pearl necklace