Subtlety and Art Nouveau don't ordinarily go together, but here's a delightful exception. This restrained and yet characteristically Nouveau jewel is lavished with floral repousse work, but holds excesses within the bounds of a slender bar pin two inches long. Notice the finely wrought clasp is engraved to match the front -- a particularly charming touch.
Hallmarked for sterling, this beauty retains quite a bit of age patina, which can easily be polished off if you prefer a high shine. Dating would be no later than the 1890s, based on the type of fastener; origin is most likely American; and condition, as you see, is superb. Obviously the brooch is entirely hand-made.
While it can certainly be worn at the throat as a bar pin or on a lapel, the rather odd fastening mechanism suggests that it may have done duty as a lace pin -- or, for the overprivileged, in a set of exceptionally nice lingerie or diaper pins.
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