Badine cross


The Badine cross is the most emblematic jewel of the Languedoc Roussillon region.   The suspension ring is hidden behind the cross as is a hinge which articulates the lower part of the cross.  The Badine cross is made in pink gold, often quite tarnished, and set with rose-cut garnets which are generally set above red tinted foil in order to give more colour and brilliance to the garnets.  For this reason, the cross should never be immersed in water, as the foil will be discoloured.  The word badine is an old French word which means "to move gently" and refers to the way the cross is articulated allowing the lower part to move freely.

  Badine cross with its slide


, early-nineteenth century in pink gold (heavily tarnished) and garnets



Badine cross, early-nineteenth century in pink gold and garnets



Badine cross, eighteenth century in pink gold and garnets





Garnet-set jewellery from Languedoc-Roussillon



garnet-set cross, 18th century (200%)



brooch in gold and garnets



cross in gold and garnets




gold and garnet ring


Traditional garnet ring from the Languedoc Roussillon region

gold and garnet ring





earrings in gold and garnets
earrings in gold and garnets



necklace in gold and garnets



Narbonne cross in gold



Narbonne cross in gold




The Narbonne cross - tube-shaped and with three incised rings on each arm



Narbonne cross in gold




Narbonne traditional costume and cross    




 "Collier esclavage" (slave necklace) in gold and enamel with its matching ear pendants
These necklaces were worn in many regions, this one is illustrated here solely because it was found in the region and because it's so lovely





detail  of "collier esclavage" (slave necklace) in gold and enamel


Cicada brooch signed by Guiraud, gold.  The cicada is the symbol of the Felibrige association





"poissarde" ear pendants in enamelled gold, collected in Nîmes





collection of jewels belonging to a family in Languedoc Roussillon



 gold badine cross from the Tarn with its enamelled slide



The badine cross of Tarn or Castres cross is composed of four half-spherical and faceted elements from which is suspended by a ring a fifth similar element but in the shape of a pear. The fact that this element can move, or badine, is what gives this cross its name. There are two pear-shaped elements attached to the intersection of the arms on the top of the cross and two similar pendants attached by rings on the bottom of the cross. According to Michel Yvon, these crosses "were sold at the fair of Beaucaire and in Avignon."



gold badine cross from the Tarn with its slide





gold badine cross from the Tarn




 gold and enamelled badine cross from the Tarn


The chatelaine


The most distinctive piece of jewellery in the Poitou - Charentes region is the silver chatelaine which women wore on their skirts.  Chatelaines are known as claviers (lou clavié) in Provence, chatelaines in Alsace and crochets in Poitou-Charentes and the Pays de la Loire. Some authors thought they had identified chatelaines set with rhinestones in Normandy however these are in fact, at least originally before transformation, busquières (see section Normandy). Chatelaines are formed of a length of metal more or less decorated and often engraved and pierced, then bent back on itself with a spatula-shaped segment to hang on the inside of the skirt. They are generally used to suspend a pair of scissors on two chains, sometimes a key and, according to Lionel Bonnemère, a punch used to kill poultry was suspended in Poitou.

There are differences in the shapes of the chatelaines according to the regions. In the south, there is a special type which has at the top a door-knocker shaped ring which opens with a silver screw. This ring was used to hang keys, leaving the chains free for a pair of scissors. There are also chatelaines in the south where the simple chains are split by a separator with a design matching that of the hook. Niort was an important centre of manufacture of chatelaines in the 19th century and there are chatelaines from Niort to be found throughout the southern half of France, most of which were manufactured between 1815 and 1880.


Silver belt clip or chatelaine with hallmark from Nîmes



Silver belt clip with design of a hand holding a laurel wreath



large clavier entirely hand-engraved
note the extra loop on the back part used to securely attach it to the skirt with a few stitches






Two silver belt-clips or chatelaines from the Nîmes area, one decorated with two burning hearts on an altar, pierced by an arrow, the other with a basket of flowers





clavier in silver



clavier in silver






clavier in silver



clavier in silver




two claviers in silver





clavier in silver



Cévenole heart pendant in silver filigree with three trissous drops



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




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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