A most unusual, rare, late 19th century mourning/memorial brooch.
Large in size with a traditional black enamel front and central oval locket case, containing the hair of the deceased. This then has a border of 25 coral cabochons; typically such a surround would house seed pearls.... I have never seen another with coral.
It is however, quite fitting; typically coral was used by the Victorians and Georgians before them as a protective talisman against evil. It seems a lovely sentiment to send a loved one into the afterlife with this protective memorial to them.
The black enamel front has a lovely scalloped gold outer border, giving a beautiful and traditional finish to this special brooch.
The back of the case is gilt metal that has previously been gold cased; wear to this is entirely commensurate with age & use.
The period pin and catch are possibly antique replacements and are in good working order.
Measurements: 1 6/8" by 1 4/8"
In good antique condition; there is a small sliver of black enamel missing within top right scroll, a tiny old glue spot to right of brooch on black enamel; some natural variation in size/shape of corals.
Please view all the photographs for clear detail of the brooch and its condition.
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