A very interesting and unique high gold content Mourning brooch.. The owner of this was most certainly one of means. It is the first of its kind that I have had. There is an old, tin photo behind the deeply beveled crystal on one side and tightly weaved hair on the reverse. The twisted gold framework is simply exquisite. Every other gold loop is hand brushed and then hand etched. The workmanship is superb.
The center of the brooch is set with a pivoting swivel pin, both top and bottom. The owner can open up the pin and second bar and rotate this so it can be worn either photo side up or hair side up.... Pretty interesting in my opinion.
The gold content is very high on this piece. It is more than 18K and less than 22K. I have electronically and acid tested this and my electronic tester is showing 20K. The bezel is also gold.
It is a large and impressive piece. It measures 1 3/4" x 1 1/2" across. It has nice weight at 18.5 grams. The condition is very good to Excellent. In the photos, you can see that just a bit of the photo has lifted. In hand, it is nowhere near as noticeable. The medium brown tightly woven hair work behind the crystal bevel is as it was made, perfect. Clearly neither crystal has ever been disturbed or removed. I thought about allowing my old school bench jeweler to open the crystal over the photo to just ever so gently clean it up but feel it is better left completely original. The only thing to mention is that somewhere along the line, the open C clasp was replaced to a locking gold clasp. Likely 100+ years ago. I am certain that it was originally open. It was a fantastic job and no sign of solder can be seen. No dings to the gold and no scratching of either of the crystals.
If you happen to collect unique Mourning pieces, this may appeal to you. I find it a fantastic piece myself. Dressed in Victorian Garb this brooch is Circa 1850-1860, Victorian period. Questions are always welcome and encouraged.
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