Anjou and Loire valley

Anjou and Loire valley




The Val de Loire cross


Val-de-Loire cross in gold


The Val-de-Loire cross is a double-sided Latin cross with fleur-de-lys ends and rays emanating from between the arms forming a square. On the obverse a figure of Christ, on the reverse, the Holy Mary.


Val-de-Loire cross in silver, hallmarked at Blois




The Anjou Jeannette cross


 Jeannette cross with pendants, Anjou region, gold plated



The cross Jeannette d'Anjou is a hollow Jeannette cross garnished with three faceted diamond pendants terminated by spheres. The unique shape of the pendants hanging from the Anjou Jeannette cross is probably based upon that of the three nails of the True Cross, the sphere at the tip perhaps representing a tear-drop. Below you can see how the nails were representeded on the engraving decorating an early 19th-century reliquary cross; the similarity is quite marked. 


nails from the crucifxion engraved on a silver reliquary cross


 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold

 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold

 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold-plated and enamelled




 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold
 Jeannette cross with pendants,
Anjou region, gold plated




The Anjou baton cross

 Baton cross with pendants, Anjou region, gold


The Anjou baton cross is a  basic baton cross garnished by three rhombus-shaped faceted pendants tipped with spheres.




The flat cross

18th century flat cross in silver




The Berry "jardinière" cross

Berry cross from Bourges region, in silver


The Berry “jardinière” cross is a hollow Latin cross garnished with three pendants which are either sbaped like drops or like faceted nails with spheres at the tips. The top of the cross is equipped with a suspension ring attached to either a simple loop or a fleur-de-lys motif. The faces are engraved with various motifs such as a sun, flowers, animals, objects of the Passion of Christ and acronyms such as AM, MA, AV or MHA. The cross is often suspended by two chains from a rectangular slide with truncated corners fitted with two flanges on the rear and engraved with the letters AM separated by a burning heart on the front.


Berry cross from Bourges region, in silver




Berry cross from the Bourges region, in gold




The faith ring

faith ring or fede ring, englarged 2X


These faith rings or fede rings, also called big-heart rings, are associated with Brittany but are in fact engagement rings of Vendée origin. In Brittany they were mostly adopted by sailors. In the 19th century the jeweler always offered the bride, at the time of purchase of the faith ring, a simple ring called a coral ring or coraline, to avoid wear of the wedding ring. By 1908 this custom still existed in some rare areas of the Vendée Maritime and Saint-Gilles but had disappeared at Les Sables d'Olonne. Lionel Bonnemère, in a conference in Paris in 1903, showed how these rings were exported and imitated in Congo by the natives of the country.




The ring "à l'Anglaise"

Vendee ring "à l'anglaise" in gold and glass


Vendéen ring called "à l'anglaise", very popular in the region. The rings exist in gold or silver, the rhinestones may be colored or colorless, and the two rhinestones shouldering the middle rhinestones, round or square. According to Lionel Bonnemère, "In Challans, there was once a local jewelery factory run by a man named Reguin, who has been dead for 16 years and used to make all types of of  marshland jewels, in other words worn by the inhabitants of the Vendée marshlands."



Ring "à la française"


 'Bagues à la française' en or et strass



It should be noted that the moulds and dies used to make the French rings known as "bague à la Française", popular in Vendée and Normandy, were also used to make "poissarde" earrings, brooches and even some stick-pins.



Guimbarde brooches


Men's guimbarde brooch decorated with double hearts and used to hold the shirt closed, silver



illustration from 1903 showing how the guimbarde pin was used to close the shirt


men's heart-shaped guimbarde topped with a crown and pierced by an arrow, silver




men's heart-shaped guimbarde pin topped with a crown and a crucifix and pierced by an arrow, silver, 1798-1809


men's double heart-shaped guimbarde pin topped with a crown and a cross and pierced by an arrow, silver,



Vendéen brooch in stamped out and engraved silver



Vendéen stick-pin in stamped out and engraved silver

Chouan pendant in silver, modern





The Sablaise cameo ear pendants

gold shell cameo ear pendants popular at Les Sables d'Olonne, gold


The manufacture of these "Sablaise earrings" or "brisures", in gold set with small shell cameos, has long been the specialty of the town of Niort which supplied Les Sables-d'Olonne with these particular jewels. According to Lionel Bonnemère, these pendants were called "The portrait" and they replaced the old ear pendants set with a red or green stone.



gold shell cameo ear pendants



paire of coiffe pins in gold, collected in Laval





The "chemisette" of Chartres

chemisette of Chartres, souvenir medal in brass of the Holy tunic (of Mary)


The cathedral of Chartres holds a much venerated relic purported to be the tunic worn by the Holy Mary.  The many pilgrims to the Chartres cathedral, one of the largest and finest gothic cathedrals in the world, enjoy buying a souvenir of this relic, known as a “chemisette de Chartres”, (little tunic of Chartres.) or "chemisette Notre-Dame"  These souvenirs can be in the form of a simple brass or silver tunic-shaped medal and even silver reliquaries.




Cape and coat catches

overcoat catch in engraved and openworked silver



Below is a selection of silver cape catches, collected in Tours, but which were all made in Paris. The manufacturers in Paris and Niort sold their goods all over France.




cape catch in stamped silver



cape catch in stamped and chiseled silver


cape catch in stamped and chiseled silver





Market gardener from Vendée with cape and silver cape clips



French regional jewellery - Touraine region






costumes from Guérande



French folk costume from Sables d'Olonne




French regional jewellery and costumes - coiffe d'Anjou



French regional jewellery and costumes - Les Sablaises



folk-costume worn by a salt harvester, Pays de la Loire region



folk-dress from Les Sables d'Olonne




Embroideries and jewellery from Brittany according to Racinet in La Costume Historique, 1888

double-click on any photo to see it in a much better resoluton


New book - Traditional French Jewellery


Book - Traditional French Jewellery - order here direct from the author




Dear collectors, auctioneers, dealers and jewellery lovers,

You have visited the site which for twelve years now has listed all regional and traditional French jewellery, without advertising and without sales.
By popular demand, this website is now finally available as a book, much more complete and with many new photos and texts that are not on the site. I traveled more than 4,500 km in 2020 to visit the various collectors and museums of France and to photograph, weigh, measure and examine their jewellery.

Large format of 23.5 x 30 cm, 304 pages, hardcover and fully illustrated with over 1300 jewels in color, this book is the first complete book on French regional jewellery and corrects the many errors and gaps observed in the other references and presents other regional jewels hitherto unknown to the public. You will find eight full pages on Breton pins and fibulae and many other jewels in museums and private collections that are not on this website. Over four months of research has gone into making the chapter on hallmarks the most reliable ever seen - clear illustrations of hallmarks have been made especially for this volume. And for the first time, collectors will have access to a complete list of all the assay office symbols, small signs withn the hallmarks that identify in which city the jewellery was hallmarked. The opening and closing dates since 1798 of the hallmark offices are also listed for the first time, allowing, with the office symbol, to better date your jewellery.

The print run of this book is very limited, which is why I recommend you order early.  You will love this book I have had nothing but compliments and many clients have ordered more to offer as gifts.

To order, you can send a wire transfer or WISE transfer to Michael Fieggen - FR76 4061 8803 9700 0403 3233 171 – BIC – BOUSFRPPXXX - address Mike Fieggen, 280 rue Saint Honoré, Paris, 75001 France

Bank or wire transfer by in Sterling – Account holder - Michael Fieggen
IBAN - GB68TSBS30916200184462    BIC / SWIFT - TSBSGB2AXXX

Sterling cheques and PayPal welcome to address

Any questions ?  Contact me at or by telephone at + 33 1 4015 9000

One copy in French                               €75                             Postage and packing                  €9 for France, €8 for Europe and overseas

Two or more copies in French              €75 each                    Postage and packing                  €9 for the lot in France, overseas postage €8 each

One or more copies in English             £75 sterling each       Postage and packing                  £8 sterling each


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



Antoine Raspal - bijoux régionaux - bijoux des régions de France - bijoux provençaux - pentacrines - bague pentacrine - broche pentacrine - bague en corail - broche en corail croix Mistralienne - croix plate de Nice - collier d'Arles - croix Marie Antoinette - croix Capucine - costume provençal - costume Arlésienne - croix dévote - croix Jeannette d'Arles - Les bijoutiers d'étoiles de Saint Vincent de Digne par Viviane Hervois - Le bijou provençal : parures du quotidien et bijoux de fête - Les bijoux traditionnels français par Monique Poulenc et Anne-Michèle Margerie, , traditional French jewellery, jewelry, French regional jewellery- antieke zeeuwse streeksieraden in zeeland friesland - Brabantse klederdrachten en streeksieraden


Anjou and Loire valley