Collections

Piece of the Week: Francesca Villa’s ‘The Blink of an Eye’ Pendant

CollectionsMay 31, 2024

Piece of the Week: Francesca Villa’s ‘The Blink of an Eye’ Pendant

Couture attendees should stop by booth 410 to see Francesca Villa’s rendition of antique “lover’s eye” jewelry.

The Blink of an Eye pendant
Francesca Villa’s “The Blink of an Eye” pearl pendant with a vintage VariVue lenticular image set in 18-karat yellow gold and framed by enamel, pearls, and diamonds totaling 0.98 carats. ($15,550)
There are a multitude of pieces to fall in love with at Couture this year, but Francesca Villa’s “The Blink of an Eye” pearl pendant is the perfect piece to become your token of love for the show.

The limited-edition pendant features a rare vintage lenticular image of an eye as a nod to antique “lover’s eye” jewelry.

As you move the pendant around, the eye appears to be opening and closing.

The illusion of movement in a lenticular is created through tiny plastic prisms which are placed over multiple images that have been sliced and interlaced together.

The eye is framed by blue and white enamel with diamonds totaling 0.98 carats and pearls around the border.

Francesca Villa, the designer of the namesake brand, included pearls as they were often used in lover’s eye jewelry as a token of love because of their value, purity, and rounded perfection, as well as diamonds since they were found in more elaborate versions of these pieces.

She loves the playful movement that the lenticular creates in the pendant, a cheeky wink, as the jewelry moves with the wearer, said the brand.

The Blink of an Eye Pendant
The vintage VariVue lenticular image of an eye blinks as the piece moves with its wearer.


The story of lover’s eye jewelry is said to have begun when King George IV of England laid eyes on the twice-widowed Maria Fitzherbert at the opera when he was still the Prince of Wales.

It was love at first sight, but as Fitzherbert was Catholic and the 1701 Act of Settlement prohibited people of this religion from being monarchs, their love was forbidden.

History says the two wed in secret and exchanged miniatures depicting each other’s eyes, set into jewelry, as tokens of their love.

It then became popular for couples to gift each other portrayals of their eye in pendants or brooches as a keepsake of their love, forbidden or not.

To see the magic of Villa’s “The Blink of an Eye” pendant, stop by booth 410 at Couture.

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