A Gold and Enamel Victorian Bangle with the word Souvenir in Diamonds
Sentimental jewellery and jewels with messages, such as 'Forget Me Not', 'Spes' or 'Souvenir', were hugely popular during the Victoria era. These mottos would recall a Grand Tour or adorn holiday keepsakes. However, more often 'Souvenir' would refer to its French translation 'memory' or 'remember' and functioned as a token to commemorate an important event, cherished memories, or loved ones, as was the case with this bracelet.
An exceptional, wide, 18-carat gold, 'Souvenir' bangle bracelet, featuring delicate, hand-painted colourful enamel in the en plein technique, with a winged angel and the word 'Souvenir' inlaid with rose-cut diamonds. The inside of the bracelet is inscribed 'pour Armelle en souvenir de Jacquot Noël 1992'. Its case bears the initials 'A de B', for Armelle de Bascher. In 1992, Karl Lagerfeld gave the bracelet to Armelle de Bascher, who was the mother of Jacques de Bascher, the iconic fashion designer's lifelong companion. Tragically, Jacques had already passed away. In this context, the word 'Souvenir' takes on poignant meaning, symbolising a parting gift and serving as a tangible reminder for Armelle and Karl to cherish the memory of Jacques. The bracelet itself dates from the end of the 19th century.