Medievalist Mid Victorian Rose Gold Branch Coral Pin
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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Jewelry: Costume: Pre 1900: Item # 126608
GlitzQueen History and Art to Wear
reduced from $155.
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This fascinating Victorian pin has a lovely medieval heraldic design and a centerpiece of branch coral. Probable dating would be circa 1860-1880, based on the Gothic or Renaissance Revival influence evident in its style. The engraved scalloped edges are also true to that period and the spade-shaped leaves are distinctly tied to the Aesthetic Movement.
I'm not certain about the metal, but it looks like rose gold. A small opening on the back, evidently intentional, allows a peek at the interior and, although I can't see much apart from grime, there should be a green patina both inside and out if the brooch were only copper. The red coral could be either the real thing (highly polished) or a very early plastic material which was then more prized than the real thing. Coral, BTW, was valued by the Victorians for its supposed curative and protective powers.
Size is 1 1/2" x 1" and overall condition is extremely good, with only age-appropriate surface wear visible under high magnification. The hinge, sitting lower than the clasp, seems original, but the safety clasp was obviously added many years later, replacing an old open C. The pin stem would have been shortened at the same time, not a bad idea since those extra-long ones can so easily draw blood.
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