This is an exquisite Georgian piece. The large brooch has a crystal compartment on the backside for a keepsake, photo or perhaps a locket of hair. Unclear to me if this was intended to be a piece of Love, or possibly a Mourning piece. My feeling is that this was a gift of sentiment from a Gentleman to one he truly cared about. The subject is irresistible and is a white Cupid, or Putti who is gently leaning on his bow. He is a winged little Angel and has curly locks and rests in a very relaxed position. The detail on the miniature painting is exquisite. There is no loss or damage to the enamel painting. The portrait was painted on a piece of Mother of Pearl which is quite visible from the back portion of the locket. Below the fine blue enamel work would be a layer of copper to ensure the enamel work stayed in place and would meet the test of time. That it has done. The Urn has raised wreaths which has been done with gold gilt. The primary metal is Silver with gold accents around the portrait, the wreaths, around the bottom portion as well as below the pearl and handles. On the back the open C clasp is gold as is the bottom portion of the vase. The locket is also trimmed in gold. It is hinged and opens and closes perfectly. I mention Gilded however there are portions of this piece (including the casing around the crystal which are testing for 9+ K Gold.) There was a silver O ring added to the very top of the piece to allow for a chain or ribbon to be added so it can be worn as a pendant or necklace.
This is a very large and impressive piece. It measures slightly over 2 1/4" tall x 1 1/4" across. The piece is 3/8" thick. The portrait measures just a hair under 1" x 5/8" across. There is a pin point size indentation on the right side of the piece. So difficult to see, I never noticed it until I viewed my own photos. The pearl was replaced at some point.
This is a very rare and unusual piece. I have never seen another like it. What a fabulous piece this would be to add into a fine Georgian collection. Or, can you imagine the sheer joy and pleasure this piece would bring as a gift to your loved one? It is superb. The piece is either French or English. Condition Very Good, Circa Georgian 1840. This is a late Georgian or Very Early Victorian piece. Questions are always welcome.
* Some interesting information on Royal Blue Enamel: Enameling was not hugely popular and out of style for a good part of the early 18th Century with certain exceptions such as highlighting of mourning jewelry however in 1775 the expert London enameler, Jusen, perfected a distinctly English style of enameling on Jewelry which was a smooth, dark, translucent midnight blue. It is believed that the profusion of items in this remarkable color began as gifts given to royals by other royals and indeed this color is often seen as the background of rings, brooches, watches, bracelets, etc. Like many popular trends, this caught on, especially in France. The enameling process is really a dying art. It is time consuming but still practiced by some elite few.
*Some Info on Enamel work credited to the book, Georgian Jewellery 1714-1830.
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