The present bracelet is a fine example of a so-called "Grand Tour" bracelet, embellished with ten finely painted enamel miniature portraits, demonstrating the skillful craftmanship of Switzerland's jewellers and enamellers. The portraits, small works of art, depict Swiss ladies in the typical costume of their relevant canton, the names inscribed to the reverse. Such jewellery was popular amongst travellers on the Grand Tour, wishing to bring back a souvenir from their journey.
Beginning in the late sixteenth century, it became fashionable for young aristocrats to visit Paris, Venice, Florence, and above all Rome, as the culmination of their classical education. Thus was born the idea of the Grand Tour, a practice which introduced Englishmen, Germans, Scandinavians, and also Americans to the art and culture of France and Italy for the next 300 years. Travel was arduous and costly throughout the period, possible only for a privileged class - the same that produced gentleman scientists, authors, antiquaries, and patrons of the arts. Many artists benefited from the patronage of Grand Tourists eager to procure mementos of their travels - such as the present bracelet.
A very similar bracelet is illustrated in Understanding Jewellery by David Bennett & Daniela Mascetti, 2011 edition, p. 95, pl. 89.