This pair of circa 1900 antique hunting pins is truly remarkable, both because it's so rare to find a set still together and because they're in virtually pristine condition. Probably of French origin, they're from a gentleman's collection found in Paris and were no doubt used to secure a cravat -- but not used much.
The highly detailed and dimensional fox heads measure about 5/8" by 1/2" and the pins are 2" long, crafted in the safety pin style popular in the late 19th century. The reverse of each head is marked ARO and ARO Double, referring to the maker and a double plating process that produced this rich golden finish that still gleams like new today. Hand-craftsmanship was obviously involved, in that one head is a bit more brightly burnished than the other and the end loops vary slightly in size from pin to pin. One pin looks a little more open in the photos, but I've since pinched it in. The underlying metal is somewhat malleable but quite sturdy.
The set would be an extraordinary gift -- or two gifts, if you can bear to separate them.
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