This is a very fine example of a Souvenir brooch depicting the Capitol Building, or Capitol Hill, in Washington, USA. It is of such a high quality of workmanship that I wondered if it had been given as a gift to some visiting dignitary or diplomat in the 1920s...! It is so much superior to the average lightweight mass-produced enamel vintage souvenir pins I have collected from big cities, and tourist spots, around the world. It weighs nearly 20 grams of solid silver, and great care has gone into its design and manufacture. A very collectable piece!
The large heavy brooch is made of Sterling Silver, with a central silver and enamel shield shaped picture of the Capitol Hill building. It has a sterling silver 'frame' around the enamel. On the top of the shield, a bald eagle is perched, carrying a small shield. The detail is wonderful. The enamel picture is highlighted on each side by beautiful panels of blue enamel over an engine turned feather-like design - this is known as 'guilloche' work (the name of the machine that makes the underlying pattern) and was first pioneered by Carl Faberge the famous Russian jeweller, and enameller. The enamelwork frames the picture of the Capitol beautifully.
The brooch has a strong thick silver band framing the design. It is marked Sterling Silver clearly on the rear, with a Maker's Mark that I don't recognise, presumably American. The enamel Capitol picture is also marked Sterling on its rear.
The brooch has the classic C-clasp type rear pin. Not the same as Victorian C-clasps, rather more typical of early 20th Century manufacture. I would estimate the brooch's age to be circa 1920s.
Condition: The brooch is in very good vintage condition - nearly an antique! All the enamel is in excellent order - no visible chips or scratches. There is a tiny amount of pitting to the silver edges of the brooch, but not really visible when worn. See Photo No. 3. The rear of the brooch is in excellent order. The hinge and clasp are strong and work perfectly and securely.
Dimensions: the brooch is large - approx. 2.5 inches (6.5cm) wide and is 1 & 1/8 of an inch (0.7cm) from top to bottom, in the centre. It is approx. 1/2 an inch (1.2cm) thick. It weighs a whopping 18.3 grams.
Overall, a beautiful quality attractive Sterling and Enamel brooch, in very good vintage condition, ready to wear or add to a collection, or perhaps be a memento of home, or a special trip?!.
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