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Straddling the transition from the ornate Victorian to the sinuous Art Nouveau, this Belgian brooch, likely crafted by the hand of Léopold Van Strydonck, is a golden homage to a mythical era. Bearing the griffin, symbolising strength and protection, it reflects the duality of eagle and lion, bridging celestial and earthly powers. The 18K yellow gold piece, resonating with the allegorical and heraldic significance of its motif, harks back to around 1900, a time when art sought to make itself manifest in every aspect of life. Its creator's renown is enshrined in prestigious collections, ensuring that this brooch is not merely an accessory but a wearable piece of cultural mythology.
Antique jewelry object group
very good condition
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Country of origin
Although it does not carry any legible control marks we believe this to be of Belgian origin.
Between Victorian and Art Nouveau - Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. The Victorian era is known for its eclectic revival and interpretation of historic styles and the introduction of cross-cultural influences from the middle east and Asia in furniture, fittings, and Interior decoration. Victorian design is widely viewed as having indulged in a regrettable excess of ornament.
The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, and Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era. Art Nouveau (French for New Style) is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied ar - especially the decorative arts - that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905).
The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art". It is also known as “Jugendstil”, German for "youth style", named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it, and in Italy, Stile Liberty from the department store in London, Liberty & Co., which popularised the style. A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms.
Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life.
See also: late-Victorian, early Art Nouveau ,
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Late Victorian / early Art Nouveau - The subject of this piece, although typical 19th Century, announces the coming of the Art Nouveau style.
Events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era.
Source of inspiration
Griffin - The griffin, a strange and legendary creature, usually represented as being part eagle and part lion (and occasionally part serpent). As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Griffins are normally known for guarding treasure. In antiquity it was a symbol of divine power and a guardian of the divine. Most contemporary illustrations give the griffin forelegs like an eagle's legs with talons, although in some older illustrations it has a lion's forelimbs; it generally has a lion's hindquarters. Its eagle's head is conventionally given prominent ears; these are sometimes described as the lion's ears, but are often elongated (more like a horse's), and are sometimes feathered. The griffin motif is found in sculpture of the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians, Persians, and Romans; in beast allegories of the early Christians; and in Gothic architecture of the late Middle Ages. The griffin remains common in heraldry, representing strength and vigilance.
18K yellow gold (touchstone tested)
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Léopold Van Strydonck (Sint-Joost-ten-Node - Belgium), December 12, 1865 - (Knokke - Belgium), July 3, 1935) jewelry designer, goldsmith and medalist.
At the peak of the Art Nouveau period, Leopold van Strydonck was one of the authoritative Belgian artists, next to Phillipe Wolfers and Henry van der Velde. From van Strydonk many objects can be found in museums all over the world.
Work in public collections (selection): DIVA, Antwerp (Belgium) and Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago (Illinois, United States)
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width 5,45 cm (2,15 inch)
see picture with a ruler in millimeters and inches
26,20 gram (16,85 dwt)
Adin Reference Nº
Adin, fine antique jewellery