Victorian Pansy Forget-Me-Not Rebus Charm
Symbolism was powerful in the Georgian and Victorian Eras. With strict rules of society, people had to find ways express themselves in non-verbal ways. Jewellery was the perfect way to send subtle sentimental messages to the ones they loved.
The word "Rebus" comes from the Latin "non verbis sed rebus" which translated means 'not by words but by things'. They are a kind of puzzle used in jewellery to communicate a secret message.
This pendant depicts a pansy with a message beneath that reads "à moi 100 CC". It directly translates in this case to mean "Never Stop Thinking About Me" or the famous English equivalent "Forget-Me-Not".
This is how it's translated:
* In French, the word for the Pansy flower is "pensée", meaning thought.
* "100" is written as 'cent' which in French is pronounced like the same as "sans" meaning "without".
* The letters "C" and "C" pronounced together sounds like "cesser" meaning to "stop/cease".
The pendant is silver with a scrolling relief along its edges. The message has been hand painted in enamel. The paintwork is in excellent condition. There are no significant scratches or chips on the piece which is a miracle considering it is nearly 200 years old. It is clear the pendant has been loved over these years as the jump ring (hanging loop) at the top has thinned in places. It is still completely wearable however I would reserve it for special occasions. Give it's fragility, I don't dare attempt to put on a new jump ring - Ill leave that to it's new caretaker.
I cannot tell if there is a stamp/hallmark on the jump ring or if it's simply a facet in the metal from when it was made.
This piece is wonderful for so many reasons - It's history, condition and it's sentimentality.
I would avoid submersing the pendant in water and would strictly keep it away from any chemicals - perfume, cosmetics, soap, chlorine etc. I would recommend cleaning it gently with a soft microfiber cloth and polish the silver back with a silver polishing cloth.
The pendant measures 22mm in diametre excluding the jump ring. The jump rings add an additional 7mm of length to the pendant.
The jump ring can accommodate a chain up to 1.3mm in thickness.
unknown - i cannot make out if the marks on the jump ring are just the metal or a hallmark.
Silver and enamel paint.