Lovely Czech Art Nouveau Faux Moonstone Brooch c1919
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Directory: Antiques: Decorative Art: Jewelry: Continental: Pre 1920: Item # 723605
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The "Czecho" signature on this ultra-feminine antique brooch lets us date it quite precisely to the first years of the Czech Republic (established in 1918). The region was previously known as Bohemia, part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until World War I ended, and Bohemian glass has been prized from medieval times. These gorgeous old pink satin glass moonstones certainly live up to the area's reputation.
Although its dating is technically transitional, falling between the death of King Edward and the period dominated by Art Deco style, the brooch is wholly Victorian in spirit, so must have been crafted immediately after the war. There's not even a hint of Deco styling, so it would have been out of style by the early 1920s.
The lavish gilt setting, as you'll notice, has scrolling openwork at both ends, which would allow the brooch to be worn also as a pendant or even as a choker necklace, if threaded over a ribbon at each end. Its size is impressive -- 2.5 by 2 inches -- and it's in beautifully wearable condition. As you'd expect, there's age-appropriate surface wear to the gilding, especially on the reverse. The fastener is of the old open C type, right for the period. The pinstem would originally have extended beyond the edge of the brooch but, as is common, it was snipped and filed to a new point at some time in the interest of safety. One of the smaller cabochons has a teensy chip, hard to notice without extreme magnification. Provenance of this beauty is a Wisconsin estate.
Interestingly, we happen to have a fabulous pair of pink faux-moonstone earrings that are nearly a perfect match for this. If you're interested in both pieces, please e-mail and we'll work out special pricing.
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