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Panthera Leo & the Decline Art Nouveau
by: Anonymous

Good Morning
Eric thanks for writing in TWICE with same question, its been a crazy week here. Your fascinating Big Cat Pendant is Panthera LEO - LION

You might already know that Cartier and Wallis Simpson catapulted the Big Cat to legendary fame.
Please see the new "Big Cat" blog post...

I'm not sure how you tested the metal, but with the mark of 800 and this signature I'm pretty sure it would be gold over 800 Continental/German Silver.

The signature looks like the Manufacturing Jewelers:
P FRIEDRICH SPEIDEL established in 1868 in Pforzheim, Germany, and moved to the USA in 1904). Providence, RI, USA ca 1904 - Present to be exact.

Pforzheim in Germany, was the centre of a flourishing german jewelry industry which produced jewelry for Germany, Europe and the whole world. Mainly Art Nouveau. Many Pforzheim jewelry has been lost, melted down, in the gold and silver refineries and thus destroyed. Art Nouveau jewelry is synonymous with Pforzheim but was just a short interlude for Pforzheim history as it was elsewhere.

Even the finest pieces were removed from the display cases at leading museums and banished to the repositories. Perhaps your loud statement piece in the very sad and poignant form of "panthera leo- hanging" is a symbol of the death of the Jugendstil?

Fr. Speidel was founded in 1868 and was regarded as one of the most important and successful pioneering Pforzheim manufacturers., specializing mainly in double chains.

Fr. Speidel was the biggest jewellery factory in Pforzheim in Germany in the 1920s.

Warm Regards
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre

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