This ornate Victorian pin probably has heraldic meaning, as the coat of arms of a family or organization. We don't need a ceremonial reason to enjoy it, though; it will add an aristocratic note to any lapel, scarf, ascot or necktie. Measuring about an inch in each direction, it makes a bigger statement due to its dimensionality.
Obviously hand-crafted, it takes the form of a shield lavished with repoussé plumes and orbs and crested by a nicely detailed crown. The silver is unmarked, but appears to be a bit more sturdy than sterling grade (probably around 800), based on its wonderful condition. Fasteners are right for the late 19th century: an old open-C clasp and the type of hinge introduced around 1870. The pinstem would have been elongated originally, but got shortened later in the interest of safety. Although it reached us from a midwestern estate, the pin is undoubtedly of European origin.
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