Italy is home to some of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, so it is no wonder that Italian coral carvers have been paying homage to the grape for many generations with their meticulously woven bead jewelry designs. These unique creations feature small coral beads intricately strung on wires to emulate the bountiful grape clusters just before harvest.
This nicely sized brooch measures 1-5/8" long and is comprised of 4mm red coral beads wired together in a compact grape cluster measuring 1-3/8" tall (35mm) by 9/16" (14.8mm) at its widest. The coral grapes are attached to an 800 silver vermeil frame with two grape leaves at top (12x12.8mm) that span just over 1" wide, at 27mm. There is a brooch pin with locking clasp that runs North to South. The frame is hallmarked "800" and the brooch weighs 5.6 grams.
We estimate age to be around 1930, but it could be slightly older. The coral is the classic Sardinian red variety, deeper hued than tomato red with earthy undertones. This coral is natural, untreated and not dyed. The beads exhibit few natural flaws with smoothly polished surfaces. The coral is supple with a healthy sheen but not a high polish.
The gold vermeil frame and leaves are in excellent condition and retain a warm antique gold hue, not a bright yellow gold but rather a mellow, silvery gold hue that is uniform and without the spotting more common to gold fill jewelry over time. There are no missing coral beads and none exhibit damage, with all beads and wires securely intact. With a gentle squeeze, the entire wired grape bunch does have mobility as intended for these designs.
This coral grape brooch is part of a small cherished collection of coral grape pins we have accumulated over the years, with a few more being offered shortly. They bring back splendid memories of being in Italy during grape harvests. While Tuscany is indeed divine, our greatest "grapes" memory was driving across Sicily one late September watching the hustle and bustle of the grape harvest. Driving behind those tiny three wheeled trucks laden with grapes was a joy. The magic of the sun glistening off the dew soaked grape piles was such a beautiful sight that we didn't even mind the 20 miles per hour speed.
This brooch is a fun conversation piece that is both beautiful and functional. I love to use these on an errant neckline that needs a bit of security. They are fun to wear on vineyard tours and at wine tasting parties, too.
The Gift of the Grape
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Vintage Red Coral Grapes Brooch 800 Silver Vermeil
$125 SALE PENDING
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