Antique enameled bird brooch, Jugendstil period, Germany, c1910. Exquisite enameling and a distinctive subject make this a rare piece. Rendered in pearlescent blue (and white) enamel, the artist's touch is evident: feathers appear under the surface like magical brushstrokes. The red paste stone eye is outlined in silver. This very long-billed bird may be a stylized Curlew. It measures 2-1/2" by 3/4". The back is marked Sterling Silver, reflecting an active export business to England.
In researching my bird, I was thrilled to find its mate in the archives of the Tadema Gallery, London. Tadema's bird is turquoise enamel and has a diamond eye. I believe that my bird's eye was originally a diamond, also. I would recommend restoring the diamond to return the brooch to its full glory.
You may enjoy looking at similar bird brooches made by German manufacturers Meyle and Meyer and Hermann and Speck.
Jugendstil means Youth Style and is the equivalent of France's Art Nouveau movement. The name comes from Jugend (Youth), a popular German art magazine, 1896.
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