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This Victorian brooch, from the Grand Victorian Period, is a symphony of historical elegance and intricate design. Set in 18K yellow gold, it features a striking hardstone cameo of a lady, surrounded by 22 lustrous half seed pearls and highlighted with black enamel. This piece embodies the era's penchant for lavish, mourning-inspired jewellery, reflecting the societal and cultural shifts of the late 19th century. More than just an adornment, this brooch is a captivating narrative piece, offering a window into the grandeur and emotional depth of Victorian craftsmanship and style.
Antique jewelry object group: brooch
Condition: very good condition
- (more info on our condition scale)
Country of origin: France
Style: Victorian - 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.
- See also: Victorian or more info on styles
Style specifics: The Grand Victorian Period - Experts divide the reign of Queen Victoria, also called The Victorian era (1837 - 1901) into three periods of about twenty years each; The Romantic Victorian Period (1837 - 1860), The Grand Victorian Period (1860 - 1880), and the Late or Aesthetic Victorian Period (1880 - 1901).
We consider this to be of the Grand Victorian Period.
This second Victorian period is famous for its ostentatious pieces set with pearls and diamonds (from South Africa). From ca. 1850 wealthy English had reported about jewelry from India and Japan, which heavily inspired the jewelers of this period. This period also corresponds with the death of Queen Victoria's husband King Albert making mourning jewelry (set with heavy dark stones) the type of jewelry specific for this period.
Period: ca. 1870
- (events & facts of this era, poetry of this era, fashion of this era)
Material: 18K yellow gold
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Technique (01): Cameo is a method of carving, or an item of jewellery or vessel made in this manner. It features a raised (positive) relief image. There are three main materials for Cameo carving; Shells or Agate (called a Hardstone cameo), and glass. Cameos can be produced by setting a carved relief, such as a portrait, onto a background of a contrasting colour. This is called an assembled cameo. Alternately, a cameo can be carved directly out of a material with integral layers or banding, such as (banded) agate or layered glass, where different layers have different colours. Sometimes dyes are used to enhance these colours. Cameos are often worn as jewellery. Stone cameos of great artistry were made in Greece dating back as far as the 6th century BC. They were very popular in Ancient Rome, and one of the most famous stone cameos from this period is the Gemma Claudia made for the Emperor Claudius. The technique has since enjoyed periodic revivals, notably in the early Renaissance, and again in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Technique (02): Enamelling is an old and widely-adopted technology. The ancient Egyptians applied enamels to pottery and stone objects. The ancient Greeks, Celts, Russians, and Chinese also used enameling processes on metal objects. Enamel is the colorful result of fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. The powder melts and flows and hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, glass or ceramic. According to some sources, the word enamel comes from the High German word smelzan (to smelt) via the Old French esmail. Used as a noun, "an enamel" is a usually small decorative object, coated with enamel coating, such as a champlevé or a cloisonné (different techniques).
Precious stones: One hardstone cameo
22 lustrous real orient half seed pearls
Birthstones: Pearl is the birthstone (or month stone) for June.
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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: 4,45 cm (1,75 inch) x 5,30 cm (2,09 inch)
Weight: 33,50 gram (21,54 dwt)
Reference Nº: 19176-0039
Copyright photography: Adin, fine antique jewelry
Jewelry with birthstones (or month stones) for:
January - February - March - April - May - June - July
August - September - October - November or December.
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