I have always admired these brooches and finally have acquired one. I am pleased to present it to you. The piece dates to the mid Victorian era, approximately 1870. It is made of 10K yellow gold (carefully acid tested). It is embedded with shiny black onyx.
The piece is beautifully made and has three long tear drop shaped onyx dangles, adding to the concept of "mourning". Black jewelry was very popular in England and the US during this time period, as Queen Victoria mourned her beloved Albert and ladies of fashion wanted to imitate the Queen.
The pin, or brooch, has a safety clasp which I suspect was added at a later date. The clasp is one often seen on Edwardian jewelry which dates to the early 20th Century. It weighs 9.6 grams. The top portion measures 1" by 1 1/8" and the longest dangle is 1" long. The piece is in fine condition.
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