Gage d' Amitie: Token of Friendship
Male suitors of the period were known to give these gifts of 'friendship' to women they admired. Courtship followed strict rules and it wasn't the done thing to send a token of 'love' at an early stage. Mind you even at the time of his marriage Earl Spencer gave his fiancee a ring of two turtle doves inscribed 'imitons les en amitie' translating as 'let us be friends like them'
Equally, women gifted their friends with tokens of friendship, and they developed crushes on other women. -
'Following the example of the cousins Clare and Julie in the Nouvelle Heloise, women friends, sister and relations also experienced "this tender feeling, this trust in each other" Madame de la Briche described the development of her friendship with a distant cousin Algae de Langeron "we soon his nothing from each other. Young and impressionable, our friendship became both a reward and a joy" These best friends were observed by Le Tableau de Paris, " they hide the miniature of the beloved friend within their bracelets, they can talk of nothing but the joys of friendship"
And finally - Madame de Pompadour commissioned several gems from Jaques Guay in 1753. Inscribed 'Long et Prope, more et Vita' - nothing can change friendship, to mark the transformation of her relationship with Louis XV from love to friendship. - Nice one!
Excerpts from ‘le grand frisson’ Diana Scarisbrick