A pretty 18Kyellow gold pin in the shape of a salamander from the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. Animal brooches were very popular in the mid-19th century, and reptiles were especially favored. The salamander has a long history in France, and was the personal symbol of King François whose rule began in the late 15th century. This example is beautifully engraved with delicate scales, claws, and eyes. The back is set with a line of alternating seed pearls and Persian turquoise cabochons. The head is set with a larger turquoise. The original clasp is marked with the “tête de cheval” hallmark used only outside Paris between 1838 and 1919.
Origin: France, ca. 1850. Condition: excellent. Size: 1-7/16” long. Weight: 3.5 grams.