Dating to c.1780, this is a superbly wearable example of Georgian paste jewelry in exquisitely-preserved condition!
Measuring 1 1/2" x 1 1/4", this beautiful brooch began its long life as one of a pair of hand-crafted knee buckles, but was converted to the brooch you see here c.1820. By the turn of the 19th-century, knee and shoe buckles for gentleman had disappeared from fashion, in part due to the new style of full length trousers which replaced knee breeches for fashionable gentlemen. The paste- and gem-set buckles were considered too costly and beautiful to discard, and were converted into brooches by Regency-era ladies of fashion.
This is a fabulous example of such a conversion, and I must say that the buckle itself is one of the finest I have seen in a very long time! This jewel has all of the hallmarks of the best craftsmanship of the 1770s. The pastes are all hand-cut and faceted, and unlike the round or cushion-shaped pastes one usually finds on Georgian buckles, these stones are scissor-cut into long baguettes!
Each of the 32 pastes weigh approx. 3/4 "carat," and measures 5 mm x 3 mm! They are set in foiled, closed-backed, rubbed-over collets of sterling silver, and boy, do these gems sparkle! Whoever crafted this beautiful jewel was a master lapidary, as the settings are invisible - all you see are the dazzling white pastes! The inside of the buckle boasts bright-cut engraving in a panel of 9kt rose gold; another sign of exceptional quality! As with all genuine Georgian-era paste jewels, one can see the "black spot" at the back of the culet of each stone.
Best of all, the condition of this brooch is stellar - there are no "dead" ore replaced stones here! The reverse of the jewel is solid sterling silver (all metals unmarked but tested). The reverse of the brooch retains its original 1820s silver "T and C" pin and clasp and loop for a safety chain. My photos do not do justice to this piece; it is SO much prettier "in hand!"
Weighing in at a generous 16.3 grams, this jewel is just as gorgeous today as when it glittered on the gown of a lady of fashion in the 1820s, and the scissor-cut stones give it an almost modern edge! It lights up a lapel or sweater, and would also make an impressive scarf clasp. If you collect the BEST in Georgian paste jewelry, this brooch belongs in your collection! It will be shipped in a gift box suitable for storing or giving. Do not miss it; I do not expect to find another like it, and USPS Priority shipping is FREE!
Your Specialists in Fine Jewelry and Decorative Arts from Antiquity - 1900. Est. 1987.
I WILL BE OUT OF THE OFFICE From 10/5-10/25. Orders May Be Placed and Paid For, But Will Not Be Shipped Until 10/26. Thanks!