En Tremblant: A Rare Craft
An old French term, “en tremblant” in jewellery industry lexicon refers to the “trembling” feature of a piece of jewel, particularly brooches. Invented in the 18th century in the ateliers of Paris, the craft involves mounting parts of a diamond jewellery creation on wire-coiled springs to create realistic movement and height, resulting in more volume, sparkle and liveliness. The en tremblant technique was especially popular for floral-motif jewels, which featured delicately quivering flowerheads, as well as bejewelled butterfly or dragonfly wings.
Deeply inspired by the beauty and ingenuity of antique French en tremblant designs, Bulgari started to produce a breathtaking series of “tremblant brooches” in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, the Italian jeweller was widely considered to have perfected the technique. Its repertoire of floral compositions spanned bouquets, baskets and sprays of diamonds and other precious gems.
Because that period was Hollywood’s Golden Age and defined by post-war prosperity, the brooches sold really well and were a favourite of celebrities, including Ingrid Bergman and Princess Soraya of Iran, who sometimes wore them as hair ornaments. Famous examples of the Bulgari tremblant brooch were the gorgeous diamond and platinum ones given to Elizabeth Taylor in the early ’60s by her then-husband Eddie Fisher.
Scroll down to see them, more beautiful pieces sold by Christie’s, and a Bulgari all-diamond tremblant brooch available here at Revival Jewels.
Above is a Bulgari floral spray-motif diamond tremblant brooch, circa 1950s, available exclusively at Revival Jewels. Mounted in 18k white gold, the brooch features 4 flowerheads set “en tremblant” with pear-, round- and oval-cut diamonds for a total diamond weight of approximately 17-20 carats. It measures 7cm in length, and comes in its original case.