Top-of-the-line Victorian brooch fashioned as an Algerian knot with suspended tassels and centering an oval amethyst cabochon inlaid with a pearl-set gold star. The amethyst conceals and crystal-covered hair or portrait case that is accessed from the back of the pin. The Algerian knot motif became popular around 1850 and this is a particularly fine example. The gold is worked with repousse decoration to resemble a heavy silk cord that is then tied into the knot pattern. The loose ends of the cord suspend beautifully worked foxtail tassels with caps decorated to match the texture of the knot. The amethyst is collet set and the outside of the collet is enhanced with an elegant twisted wire motif. The amethyst is further enhanced with an inlaid gold six-point star bead-set with a very high quality small natural pearl. In the Victorian era, amethyst was a very expensive stone and large stones were used sparingly. The back of the brooch retains the original extended pinstem and c-clasp. This brooch was obviously an important piece, and is presented in its original fitted leather case. Tested and guaranteed 18K gold.
Origin: America, ca. 1850. Condition: nearly mint. Size: 1-1/2” x 2-3/4”. Weight: 17.5 grams. Approximate Total Gemstone Weight: 20 carats.