In superb original condition, this mid-19th century brooch is of outstanding historical interest. Even the extra-long pinstem hasn't been snipped at all, which is quite a rarity. Also noteworthy are the superb faceted pastes, all very clear and white, radiating great brilliance. A cluster of seven stones nestles within each of the four beautifully dimensional flowers joined by their graceful swirl of cylindical stems.
We can date the brooch to the Victorian Grand Period by its large size -- about 2.25 inches wide and 1.75 inches tall -- and the hinge, which is of a type introduced around 1850. However, the architecturally layered construction is more typical of Georgian and Early Victorian times. This suggests American origin, away from major metropolitan centers, or simply that it was made by an older jeweler who favored traditional techniques. Certainly it was hand-made, as we can tell by variations in the flowers (slightly different shapes and engraving patterns). A particularly sweet touch is engraving on the flowers' backs, as well as inside the petals. The slightly rosy golden metal appears to be rolled gold, showing little wear even under high magnification. "Rolled" gold refers to sheets of gold attached so thickly to both sides of the underlying metal that it basically never wears out. Its clasp is the old open "C", of course. It reached us from a Pennsylvania estate.
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