Gold, enamel, pearls
Property of Shai Bandmann and Ronald Ooi
"Collier de chien" or "dog collar" is one of the terms used in French for a choker necklace. The first chokers appeared in the 18th century, consisting of a band of fabric studded with jewels. The fashion for chokers reached its height at the end of the 19th century, during the Belle Epoque period. René Lalique replaced the fabric by rows of pearls, inserting a central motif mounted on a plaque.
The choker followed the shape and size of the woman's neck, enhancing her head carriage, and the plaque followed the curve of the neck. Typically French, the choker was worn with a low-cut neckline or over a high neck. By the turn of the century (1902 – 1904), it was on its way out of fashion, in favour of the pendant.
The Aubépines chocker has nine rows of pearls linked by a central plaque featuring enamel hawthorn leaves using the plique-à-jour technique and fruit made of delicate white pearls. The transparency of the leaves and the openwork technique used for the plaque make the piece light and delicate.
By the way: René Lalique produced a number of Aubépines chokers. The Lalique Museum owns a second example; the Musée des Arts Décoratifs has one, and a number of others feature in private collections.