A match made in heaven, this antique Georgian cut steel and mother of pearl brooch combines the bright shine of cut steel with the soft sheen of mother of pearl. The designer shows creative attention to the detail which highlights both materials. The use of cut steel in multiple shapes of marquises, commas, rounds, buttons and half -moons creates a whimsical and interesting overlay on luminous mother of pearl.
Originally created to be a substitute for gemstones required in government and military endeavors, cut steel objects, and especially jewelry, evolved over two centuries into fashion which appealed to multiple social classes.
In 1780, the French recognized the profitability of cut steel jewelry and accessories and established their own workshops to meet the demand.
Sometimes set with gem materials, like the mother-of-pearl, or jasperware, most pieces were designed using only cut steel pieces and beads. Over the centuries, the more common shoe buckles have survived in some numbers, but one has to really search for the more unusual pieces, such as this brooch.
Measuring approximately 2 ¼” (length) x 1 9/16” (width) x ¼” (depth), it weighs 18.1 grams.