The Belle Epoque was a long period of peace and prosperity that began at the close of the 19th century until the declaration of World War I in 1914. This 'Beautiful Era,' dedicated to delicate femininity, celebrated the most gracious and opulent living, while flowering the most romantic and lavish jewels. Drawing inspiration from 18th century patterns and the decorative arts, jewelers from this age adopted the details common in posy baskets and trelliswork, bow knots and ribbons, and wheat ears and laurels. During this period, the increasing use of finely milled platinum that was strong and malleable, was successfully adapted to these lace-like designs while carrying the weight of many stones.
The great jewelry houses blossomed during the era of the Belle Epoque, with Dreicer & Co. introducing wealthy Americans to the finest jewelry that could be obtained on either side of the Atlantic. The origin of Dreicer & Co. dates to 1904, when J. Dreicer & Son represented the Parisian dealer A. Eknayan at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. From 1910 to the mid-1920s, the company introduced the latest techniques of Parisian jewelry to the American market, such as "French-cut" square diamonds, which were set into flexible box bracelets. The company opened its original location at 560 Fifth Avenue in New York, as well as a branch in the Blackstone hotel in Chicago. Upon the 1923 death of founder Michael Dreicer, the business was liquidated and purchased by Cartier in New York.
Michael Dreicer lived up to his reputation, in choosing the most exceptional gemstone for this elegant pendant. The 9.41 pear-shaped ruby originating from the mines of Burma possesses a rich deep red color typical of the most desirous gems found in this region. It displays a remarkably even and saturated hue with radiant luster and transparency to match. Of all the countries in Asia, it is perhaps Burma, currently known as Myanmar, that has the most valuable gem deposits. So unique are the quality elements exhibited by the rubies found here that it has emerged as the standard by which other stones are judged. Those over 5 carats, and in particular, ones that have not undergone any thermal enhancement are exceedingly rare. This is mainly because the famous mines of Mogok are yielding fewer and fewer stones of an important size. It is also because the market has seen a diminishing number of antique ruby jewelry and old Burmese gems appearing for sale.