Jewels of this type are so lovely that they're often copied now -- and even the replicas can be valuable -- but here we have the real thing, around 100 years old, yet in splendid condition. The dazzling white-on-white look was a great favorite in the elegant Edwardian era and into early Art Deco years. We can tell this is an early example, because of its curvy form (as opposed to Deco's straight lines); because it predates the safety catch introduced around 1920; and because of its dainty size (1.5 by .75 inches). Also, later variations were more often made of molded camphor glass than carved crystal.
Here the marquise-shaped quartz stone is carved at the back in a radiant sunburst pattern, topped with a glittering diamond paste and set in an elegant frame with beaded details and accents and fancy prongs that suggest feather fans. Since the metalwork shows no tarnish that would indicate silver, it's probably rhodium, a hard-wearing mineral in the platinum family. Even under high magnification, few signs of surface wear are apparent except on the reverse, which has the old open C clasp indicative of great age. The pinstem is plated, revealing hints of brass beneath, as is typical of brooches from this era. Provenance is a Midwestern estate.
There's no charge for U.S. shipping, with an equivalent discount on international delivery, and gift-wrap is always free when desired. Please e-mail to confirm availability, order or request more photos. Thanks for looking!