Ever since seeing “The September Issue,” a documentary about the making of Vogue magazine, I have coveted the rivière necklaces editor-in-chief Anna Wintour wears (in twos and threes) throughout the film — and, it seems, almost every day of her life.
Rivière necklaces have been popular since the late Georgian era. However, when fashion arbiter Wintour decided to make them her personal signature, they rocketed to ultimate collectible status — especially those with vintage provenance.
What is a Rivière?
A rivière (French for “river”) is usually a necklace of 14 to 16 inches, fashioned of faceted precious or semi-precious gemstones, and often graduating in size. Rivière necklaces can be designed with a single colored stone, or multi-colored stones, and with round or square-shaped settings.
Today, in addition to antique rivière necklaces, good costume jewelry or “fashion jewelry” versions are widely available at many price points. If you are shopping on estate jewelry websites or at antique stores, be sure to look for “paste,” which refers to the glass copies ladies of the day had made to use as traveling jewelry.
Happy Holidays from all your friends at OBJ!