Antique Victorian tripartite brooch pin with three faces in an extraordinary repousse design. The odd nature of this piece is very appealing and its imagery is open to interpretation. The center face is a smiling figure, either wearing a head wrap or behind a curtain. She/he is looking left and smiling. On one side is a smiling baby and on the other, a crying baby.
Is this a mother, father, nurse, or none of these? Are the babies twins? Or is it sequential, the same baby in different circumstances? Is the hand holding aside the wrap/curtain playing peek-a-boo? One could go on and on. The detailing is realistic and beautifully rendered.
The brooch is marked Sterling with the clover symbol of the Howard Sterling Company of Providence, Rhode Island. The company went through a few transitions of owners before 1891, when this name took hold. It had closed by 1902.
It measures 2" by 3/4" and has a secure safety clasp which would have been a later replacement for a c-clasp.
My magnified photos give the brooch a more granular appearance than it has in person.
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