This stunning large fur or dress clip looks like a full-blown rose encrusted with diamond rhinestones. It's definitely a really old one: antique, not merely vintage. Art Nouveau influence shows in the curvaceous lines of the flower's five petals, and each has beaded details and a teardrop cutout that evoke the Edwardian taste for openwork and refined ornament. Even the metal clip back is prettily decorated with two flower heads and other areas of incised pattern. The only hint of Deco geometry is the use of five bold marquis-cut stones radiating from the center amid a host of sparkling chatons.
Although the back is unitary, the flower petals appear layered, being formed in staggered heights. After this long, some of the stones have inevitably dimmed and yellowed, but this slight color variation serves as proof of great age and holds a charm that an unbroken expanse of clear rhinestones can't match. We've left time's rich patina on the metal clip back, which can of course be polished to a bright finish, if you prefer that look. Of either bronze or heavy brass, it's good and tight, still working perfectly. The back of the flower appears plated with rhodium, a hard-wearing cousin of platinum. Losses of finish here are minor, mainly at points where the prongs touch. Size of the jeweled area is about 1 3/4 by 1 1/2 inches and provenance is a Dallas area estate.
BTW, I just saw in "Allure" magazine a ring with exactly the SAME floral form as this clip, with its graceful petals that seem to overlap. That one is a $15,000 white, yellow and cognac diamond jewel by H. Stern. A clip like this may have been its inspiration, and what wonderful fun to get the look for so much less!
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