Dating to c1860 and possibly of French origin, this truly stunning Victorian Silver Brooch set with Antique Paste will have your friends thinking you are wearing Diamonds and Sapphires, the sparkle and light refraction from the stones is incredible! The Brooch obviously started out as something else, probably a hair jewel or Tiara, and was converted sometime in the 1800's into a Brooch. This may have been because the original jewelry was no longer fashionable, or because the original piece was broken up on the death of it's owner and pieces distributed to surviving relatives - a common practice at that time.
Measuring 2 1/2 inches across and 1 1/2 inches down, the Brooch fastens with a long curved pin and 'C' clasp. The silver curved bar that the pin and clasp are attached to was added at the time of the conversion, so that the pin stem and clasp could be hard-soldered to this, and the silver bar could then be soft-soldered to the Brooch, a technique used to avoid damage to the stones. Some small areas of solder are visible from the front of the brooch, but they are hardly noticeable and do not detract from the beauty of the brooch. The stones are all in cut-down settings which are open at the back. The silver on the back of the settings has the remains of a gold wash. In excellent condition, there is slight damage/scuffing to some of the stones, which is only visible when viewed through a magnifying glass, and is to be expected in antique paste.
Unfortunately my pictures do absolutely no justice to the Brooch, the paste stones flash and sparkle whatever the light, and sometimes the clear pastes have a very slight blue hue - I have no idea what causes this, it is not a reflection from the sapphire pastes. The stones in the brooch are so full of life that I actually had them checked to confirm that they were not real!
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