The crescent moon motif has featured in jewels since antiquity, but reached its height of refinement in Victorian times and immediately thereafter. This highly sculptural example of the form unites the romantic Victorian impulse with fine Arts & Crafts workmanship and early 20th century modernism. The result is a brooch that's as much a delight to touch as to see.
The sterling moon, sleek and shapely, is concave below and convex above, where an applied halo of 12 large diamond pastes rings the outer edge with brilliance. The wonderful old stones, so much more fiery than our modern rhinestones, are set in tall collets that flare from narrow bases to wide notched tops. These gracefully constructed little silver towers show the minor differences in shape and size that attest to hand-craftmanship, as do slight irregularities of the seam between the two parts. Also demonstrating high quality, there's a good heft to this pin, relative to its size (about 1.5 by .75 inches). Being so dimensional -- more than a fourth of an inch thick -- it seems bigger.
The clasp is a safety that appears original; otherwise, the dating could be up to a decade earlier than 1920. Although the Edwardian era technically ended in 1910, much of the style persisted through a transitional period until Art Deco became dominant. The only mark is the word Sterling, as is right for the period. Our modern "925" began to be widely seen in the 1930s.
Quite a bit of patina remains around the clasp and hinge, as well as around the stones, but someone obviously gave the rest of it a recent polish. Overall condition is lovely, showing only age-appropriate surface wear under magnification, and provenance is a New England estate.
There's no charge for insured U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and pretty gift-wrap is also free on request. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!