A lovely Victorian brooch richly crafted in yellow gold and suspended on a yellow gold watch chain. The center of the brooch features 44 turquoise stones clustered together. The chain measures 48 inches and is worn best when looped around the neck twice.
The circular form of this brooch is known as a "bulla" from the Latin word for "bubble." This style of jewel was favored by the ancient Etruscans and Romans and regained popularity among the Victorians during the Classic Revivals of the 1870s and early 1880s. The brooch is beautifully crafted in 15K gold while the watch chain is 14K. The brooch measures about an inch and three quarters by an inch and a half.
Examining the back of the brooch you can see the care taken in creating this jewel. Attached to the bottom of the brooch (at 6:00 o'clock) is a small chatelaine hook from which a watch or drop pendant can hang. With its removable glass section to the back, it would have been a keepsake or memorial brooch.
One of the important factors in dating an antique brooch is the nature and style of the clasp. This brooch has a sturdy "C" clasp (pictured above). Note in the picture how the pin stem extends beyond the clasp and bends slightly downward. The bent pin stem was an early form of "safety" clasp and would have been hooked backward into the fabric of the wearer's dress. This would keep the clasp from coming undone and the brooch accidentally being lost. This style of clasp and pin stem are characteristic of the Victorian era. The design of the brooch and manner in which it was crafted help us narrow the time frame down to the decades around 1880. It has been tested for purity.17.8 DWT.