This delightful Art Nouveau pin can be worn at any angle and on numerous items of clothing. It's perfect size enables it to stand alone or be grouped with a few other floral pins. The opalescence and shading of the enamel is very high quality and equal to top end French 18kt. pieces. The flower petals contain pastel shaded and blended coloration's of white, lime, yellow and peach-just lovely! The long, flowing, fern like leaf contains yellow, lime and light grass green. Under the translucent enamel is a subtle pattern that appears to be part of the original casting of the gold that is of flowing lines radiating out of the center of the flower on each petal giving them an illusion of silky texture. Please note that the front flower petal is enameled on both sides - unusually nice detail. The leaf also contains an underlying pattern that assists with the leaf's curves and dimensional feel. Even the gold stem of the flower has a texture to add realism and as a finishing touch there is a spike mounted cultured pearl in the center of the flower for the stamen.
The gold is in excellent plus condition with no cracks, rips, dents, holes, scratches, abrasions or repairs. The pin hinge, pin and C clasp are all the originals in smooth working order. The pin is a steel pin as often can be found in the late 1800's and turn of the century. It is straight with a good point. It has a little rub spot area close to the hinge where evidently someone was checking for metal content.
The enamel is excellent with no cracks, nasty scratches, abrasions or chips and has been viewed with a 10 power loupe. I can't decide if an edge rim of a flower petal has a touched up nick or just a bit of heavier clear top coat that settled in it's faint curve. The cultured pearl is a nice oval baroque in a lovely off white that compliments the flower. We believe it to be the original and it is firmly seated.
The makers mark of a large capital C with an arrow running horizontally thru it is on the end curve of the C clasp. Next to it is a 14 for the gold content. We feel the pin was made during the Whiteside & Blank ownership due to the time frame for the Art Nouveau period. The pin measures just a hair under 1 3/4" long x 11/16" at it's widest point. A lovely enamel floral pin in wonderful condition at a great price.
This makers mark is most often associated with Henry Blank & Co. and several watch/watch part makers due to the later Cresarrow Co. addition. The hallmark was registered in 1890 under N.E. Whiteside which later became Whiteside & Blank in 1903. They were known for 14kt. jewelry with enamel accent and later for quality platinum jewelry. In 1911 they started to devote a lot of their business to watches and became the first US company to make wrist watches for women. In 1912 they trademarked the name of Cresarrow Watch Co. In 1917 Whiteside left and the company became Henry Blank & Co. Their jewelry was highly regarded and sold to companies like Tiffany, Black Starr & Frost, Oscar Heyman and Neiman Marcus as well as your neighborhood jewelry store. The company closed in 1986 leaving a rich and varied history.
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