July 23, 2012

What is a Parure, Demi- Parure and a Grand Parure?

Vintage and antique jewelry...
  Doing a little bit of drawer cleaning and organizing jewelry made me ponder  the question of what is a parure, demi- parure and a grand parure? Parure is a  French word commonly used to describe a set of three or more matching pieces of jewelry. They became popular in the 17th century to show wealth or status. It was used as a fine jewelry term but is common to be used by collectors of vintage costume jewelry sets. 

  • Parure is a matching set of jewelry of three or more pieces
  • Demi- Parure is a set of 2 items (necklace-earrings etc.)
  • Grand Parure is a complete set of matching jewelry. In the 17th century this usually contained a tiara 

Wikipedia describes a parue as:  "A matching suite of coordinating pieces could include a necklace, a comb, a tiara, a diadem, a bandeau, a pair of bracelets, pins, rings, drop earrings or cluster stud earrings, brooch and a belt clasp that might be worn over a fine dress" ....whew! =)  

Josephine in her Grand Parure

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