Authentic Victorian Art Nouveau "lady portrait" jewels like this antique stickpin have become extremely scarce. Even well-made replicas are soaring in value, since so many people crave the look. So here's a rare chance to get the genuine article at an affordable price.
The lovely head of this stickpin is made in two parts. The front is a gleaming medallion executed in high relief and both rose and yellow gold. It depicts in great detail a pre-Raphaelite beauty with flowing hair caught by the breeze, framed by an exquistely scrolled border. It would be criminal to attack this work of art with files and test acids so, in the absence of markings, we can't determine the precise material. However, there's nothing to suggest it's plated.
The back and stock to which the medallion is affixed may be of a less precious substance, but even here a lot of gold remains. Perhaps these are rolled gold. Regardless of composition, the real merit and value of the jewel reside in its high quality portraiture, excellent condition and age.
The spiral pattern midway down the stock (provided to secure the pin in place) tells us it's certainly 19th century, most likely from the 1880s or early 1890s. Overall length is 2.75 inches, origin is most likely French or Belgian and provenance is a New York estate.
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