Handsome Napoleon III-era 18K gold brooch in the form of an eagle with spread wings. Eagle motifs were very popular in French jewelry of the 1860's and 70's. This example features a hook from which a lady could hang her gold watch. The eagle's beak holds a small ring that originally would have been attached to a tiny safety chain for the watch. This piece is decorated in the repousse manner, meaning that the design was created by working the gold from the back side rather than engraving the front. The detail is outstanding. The back retains the original pinstem and c-clasp. The back is stamped with the French "tete d'aigle" 18K gold hallmark and with the jeweler's mark (BF).
Origin: France, circa 1870. Condition: excellent, crisp detail. Size: 2-1/4" x 9/16" (excluding watch hook). Weight: 2.5 grams.