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This brooch, a fine example of late Victorian and early Art Nouveau design, hails from France, circa 1890. It beautifully encapsulates the transitional period with its griffin motif, symbolising strength and vigilance. Crafted in 18K yellow gold, the piece is embellished with an old brilliant cut diamond, adding a subtle sparkle. The griffin, part eagle and part lion, reflects the era's fascination with mythological and natural themes, as well as a growing penchant for organic, flowing forms. This brooch represents the exquisite craftsmanship and eclectic aesthetic that defined the late 19th century.
Antique jewelry object group: brooch
Condition: excellent condition
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Country of origin: France
Style: 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,
Style specifics: Late Victorian / early Art Nouveau - The subject of this piece, although typical 19th Century, announces the coming of the Art Nouveau style.
Period: ca. 1890
- (events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era)
Source of inspiration: Mythology
Theme: 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.
Material: 18K yellow gold
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Diamond(s): One old brilliant cut diamond with an estimated weight of ± 0.15ct. (colour and clarity: G/H, si/i).
- All diamond weights, color grades and clarity are approximate since the stones were not removed from their mounts to preserve the integrity of the setting.
Total diamond weight: approx. 0.15 crt.
Birthstones: Diamond is the birthstone (or month stone) for April.
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Hallmarks: The French control mark for 18K gold representing an eagle's head that was in use in France from about 1838.
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Dimensions: 4,03 cm (1,59 inch) x 3,09 cm (1,22 inch)
Weight: 14,40 gram (9,26 dwt)
Reference Nº: 16333-0213
Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry
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