Unlike Britain, which enjoyed one of its most stable governments and political periods, the 19th century was a time of political and economic upheaval for France.
The reign of Louis Philippe as the Popular Sovereign, his overthrow, and the establishment of the Second Republic, the election of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte as President and his subsequent takeover as Emperor and finally his de-throning and the setting up of the Third Republic in 1871, meant that France was dealing with a political marlstrom for much of the 19th century. Lots of social and political adjustments to make.
It didn’t stop the French making things of beauty however, especially after things calmed down a little after 1871. Below are a couple of examples of jewelry of the period.
1. French 19th Century Ruby Ring
A simply stunning dinner ring from late-19th-century France. Three Victorian floral motifs with round and oval-shaped petals are composed of 2.50 carats of gemmy old-mine Burma rubies surrounding old European-cut diamond centers. The blossoms are outlined by an undulating line of small antique cushion-cut diamonds set in silver-topped 18k yellow gold. This splendid original antique dinner ring measures 1 and 3/8 inches long. French hallmarks, total diamond weight of 3.45 carats. Currently ring size 6. (Description text and image credit – Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry)
About as sweet as they come from late-nineteenth century France. The top of a golden (as apposed to tin) can peels back to reveal glittering rose-cut diamond-set flowers in this unique and whimsical charmer hand-fabricated in scalar textured 18K yellow gold and darkened silver over rose gold. 1 3/16 inches. French eagle stamp on pin clasp. (Description text and image credit – Lang Antique and Estate Jewelry)