Vernet 1814: The Love Knot

I'm officially calling this the "what is that thing around her neck" post. 
Vernet apparently couldn't be bothered when it came to detailing the jewelry around his model's neck.   To me, when I first glanced at the figure, it looked like she was either wearing a large pretzel, or a dollar sign.  Since she isn't a white, rapping, 1990's gangster wanna-be, I quickly ruled out the dollar sign.  But a pretzel...surely there was something more rational.  What looks like a pretzel from a distance, but would have been aesthetically pleasing to the fashion world of the Regency era...classical jewelry....snakes?  Yes, snakes were a trend...but more importantly, what did their twisting, knotted, eternal bodies represent?  
The hive minds of the Vernet participants led to the conclusion of the "love knot."  The love knot is an image repeatedly used in art and fashion for thousands of years.  From the Celts, the Romans, the Georgians, the Victorians, the Edwardians, and on into the late 20th century...the love knot is present as what it symbolizes, it is eternal. 

So I went on a hunt for images of Georgian era love knot jewelry.  It wasn't too hard to locate a few that still exist.

First up, a Georgian wax seal fob that features a love knot.  See it there, between the dove?

Next, a Georgian, serpentine love knot for mourning, made out of braided hair. 
(Sorry, the auction no longer exists, so no source.)

Here's a link to a Georgian snake pin that has been altered into a necklace.

And another Georgian love knot pin that no longer is up for auction (so no link).  This one is a knot, but isn't in the form of a serpent. 

This Georgian love knot is actually quite similar in shape to the one I ended up buying for my outfit.

And finally, the Georgian love knot  that I think most closely resembles the one that Vernet was attempting to draw on his model.

To show you that the love knot continues to be a popular choice of jewelry on up until our currant age, here are a few more to feast your eyes on...

late Edwardian.

My broach, c.1950's
(Obviously, I wasn't able to afford a genuine Georgian love knot.  I got mine for $1.50 on Ebay.)

(Not so attractive, in my opinion.)

So, mystery solved...a love knot, it is then.  I wonder who it was that she loved?


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