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An important 19th century brooch of carved coral lilies nestled among 18K yellow gold chrysanthemum leaves set with old mine cut diamonds. The lily blossoms are fully three dimensional and are carved from the finest Mediterranean red coral, most likely harvested from the Italian coast near Naples. The heavily detailed gold leaves have a strong sculptural quality with undulating movement. Every surface is set with old mine cut diamonds of exceptional quality, averaging I/J color and SI clarity. Diamonds, collet-set and suspended from knife-edge mountings, also form the flowers' anthers. Diamonds are also set into portions of the stem that can't be seen from the front. Exposed areas of gold are delicately hand-engraved. The back of the brooch retains its original extended pinstem c-clasp. There is also a threaded aperture that was probably originally used to attach the brooch to a comb so it could be worn as a hair ornament. Tested and guaranteed at least 18K (it appears to be a little higher, perhaps 19-20K).
Origin: probably France, ca. 1870. Condition: excellent; one gold stem appears to have an old repair; no breaks in coral; no replacements. Dimensions: 3" x 3-5/8" x 1-1/8". Weight: 54.9 grams. Approximate Total Diamond Weight: 10.0 carats.