Brittany

French regional jewellery - Brittany

  BIJOUX REGIONAUX ANCIENS - BIJOU REGIONAL

Brittany is not a rich region for regional jewellery and the hollow and inexpensive Jeannette cross, usually made in Paris or Lyon, was widely worn.  A few small baton crosses are found sometimes, though these are not unique to Britany.  It is worth noting that in areas with elaborate and richly embroidered folk costumes there are usually few jewels.  This is because the regions that are isolated by transport difficulties cannot easily trade with other regions and unless the women are involved in making a high value trade item such as lace, their surplus hours cannot be profitably employed.  These women will thus turn to embellishing their own clothes with intricate embroidery.  Once the possibility of producing trade goods is found, the clothing becomes simpler and women "subcontract", as it were, their desire to embellish themselves by purchasing silver or gold jewellery to wear.

 


Brittany peasant embroidery and jewellery according to Racinet in La Costume Historique, 1888

click on the photos to enlarge them in high resolution

 

 

 


 Traditional folk costumes from Brittany according to Racinet in La Costume Historique, 1888

click on the photos to enlarge them in high resolution

 

 


"Jeannette" cross from Brittany with its sequin spangled velvet ribbon 
click on the photos to enlarge them in high resolution

 

 

 


Brittany cross, gold

 Brittany faith ring, gold

Brittany baton cross, gold

 

 

 

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 Brittany cross, gold

 Brittany cross, gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/ckfinder/userfiles/images/grands/croix-baton-or-bijou-regional.jpg
flat cross in silver, Finistère
/ckfinder/userfiles/images/grands/croix-baton-or-bijou-regional.jpg
flat cross in silver, close-up, Finistère

 

 

      


silver "Jeannette" cross from Brittany with its sequin spangled velvet ribbon

 

 


gold ring with stamped impression "Souvenir de Sainte Anne",
probably sold during the annual assembly at Saint Anne d'Auray in Brittany
(the only place in the world where Saint Anne, mother of Mary, is said to have appeared)

 

 

 

 
pardon fibule in brass and glass
 
pardon fibule in brass and glass
 

 

 


Pardon fibula in silvered brass and glass beads
The beads spell out the letters V.H.V (Vive Henri V) or Long live Henry V, and was worn by a supporter of Henry the Fifth, pretender to the French throne around 1879.

 

 

 


pardon pin in brass and glass


pardon pin in brass and glass


pardon pin in brass

 

 

 


gold cross from Brittany, front

gold cross from Brittany, back

 

 

 

 

 
reliquary cross in silver, front view
 
reliquary cross in silver, front view
 

 

 

 

 
silver reliquary cross, front

silver reliquary cross, open

silver reliquary cross, back
 

 

 

 


silver reliquary cross, front
 
silver reliquary cross, open
 
silver reliquary cross, back

 

 

 


silver reliquary cross, front
 
silver reliquary cross, open
 
silver reliquary cross, back

 

 

 

              
Bourg en Batz reliquary cross in silver gilt

 

 

 

              
Bourg en Batz reliquary cross in silver gilt

 

 

 

               
Bourg en Batz cross in silver

 

 

The Bourg en Batz cross can be recognised by its design of engraved triangles, the hanging spheres ending with a visible loop in the wire and the representation of Mary with clasped hands under a canopy.  The example shown above is a reliquary cross which opens to reveal compartments to hold relics.  Racinet included a Bourg en Batz cross in his illustration of jewels from Brittany in his monumental 'La Costume Historique'; see the extract at the top of this page.

 

 


  Traditional folk costumes from Finistère in Brittany according to Racinet in La Costume Historique

click on the photos to enlarge them in high resolution

 

 


Brittany pardon pin

 

 

 


Brittany pardon pin on a corsage in the musée départementale breton de Quimper. 

click on the photos to enlarge them in high resolution

 

 

 


coiffe and folk dress from Brittany - Lannion

 

 


coiffe and French folk dress from Brittany - antique photo

 

 


  coiffe and folk dress from Brittany - Lannion

  coiffe and folk dress from Brittany - Lannion

 

 


French regional costume and jewellery
Pont Aven, Brittany


Sunday dress from Pont Aven, Brittany

 

 

 


coiffe, costume and jewellery, Pont l'Abbé in Brittany

  French regional costume - Concarneau,  Brittany

 

 


  French regional costume and jewellery
Quimper & Pluvigner, Brittany

richly embroidered French regional costume
and jewellery from Lanriec, Brittany

  

 


  finely embroidered French regional costume
and jewellery, Fouesnant, Brittany

French regional costume and jewellery -  Brittany

 

 

 


  coiffes and French folk-dress from Brittany 
Sein island


  French regional folk costume and jewellery
Brittany

 

 


  French regional costume and jewellery
Saint Thégonnec, Brittany

French regional costume and jewellery 
Plougastel-Daoulas, Brittany

 

 


French regional costume and jewellery
Pont Aven, Brittany


  French regional costumes and jewellery
Quiberon, Brittany

 

 

 
regional costume Lorient, Brittany

 

 

 


regional costume from Plougastel-Daoulas, Brittany


closed wooden beds used in Brittany to protect from cold winter nights

 

 

 

 


cross from Brittany with triskelion
at centre, silver, modern


 


silver brooch with triskelion motif, modern

 

 

 

 


silver brooch with triskelion motif, modern

 

Regional jewellery is still popular today in Brittany but its form and purpose have changed.  Generally of silver and popular with the younger generation and with tourists, it consists of various celtique motifs mixed together in whatever form is found to sell well.  It has no ancestor and no purpose other than to mark the wearer's attachement to Brittany.  The triskelion motif is very popular, and while the origin of this motif can be traced back to the Celts, its meaning is widely disputed and has countless interpretations, generally based on three objects such as "earth, wind & fire" etc.  The Celts had no written language so the true meaning they attributed to the triskelion will never be known, however I like to imagine it is that which is still given today in the Isle of Man.  The triskelion is the symbol of the island and is less stylised, with three human legs radiating from a central point.  The devise of the Isle of Man is "I always fall on my feet".

 


triskelion motif from the Isle of Man

 

 

Contact me with your suggestions, corrections, photos, questions and comments!

 

 

contents:
 

croix bretonne - croix d'Alsace - broche alsacienne - croix de Lorraine - bijoux des régions de France - les bijoux des Français - les  bijoux de France - bijoux régionaux - bijou régional - croix écotée - pendentif Saint Esprit - Saint Esprit d'Aurillac - rose de Velay - collier d'esclavage - croix de Puy en Velay  - croix d'Auvergne - bijoux d'Auvergne - bijoux auvergnat - collier Saint Esprit de Puy en Velay - croix de Velay - bijoux d'Auvergne et du Velay - costume regional - bijoux régionaux - coiffe  - coiffe auvergnat - bijoux des régions de France - bijoux régionaux - les bijoux traditionnels Français - croix régionales - Léon Giron - Antoine Raspal - Thomas Desgeorge - Estella Canziani - esclavage auvergnat - Coiffes et costumes de Bretagne par François de Beaulieu - antieke zeeuwse streeksieraden in zeeland friesland - Brabantse klederdrachten en streeksieraden

 

French regional jewellery - Brittany