Victorian Black Rose and Heart Mourning Brooch.
This little pin has taken me down quite the research road. Purchased with a group of mourning jewelry, all from about the same time period, I was initially stumped by the use of two different materials and a simple looped hinge that I haven't come across before, but after combining all of it's qualities, I'd like to think that I've reached a good educated guess on it's timeline and the materials used.
The hinge is technically not a trombone and not a round, we'll call it an early round / trombone combo. The catch is a very early simple C, with the pin stem is sharp and slightly over extended (the sign of an older piece). The material of the rose seems to be different from the black heart that it's mounted on (small screws are visible from the back). I do believe that the rose is Vulcanite (discovered by Charles Goodyear, of tire fame, in 1839 and used until the 1930's). Vulcanite has a distinctive rubber type of smell when rubbed briskly and according to my nose, the rose has that smell. The heart has two small pin holes in the back where it was obviously hot point tested by another owner. The finish is not matte, as the rose is, but glossy (faded but glossy) and shows red when held under bright light. I believe that the heart is celluloid but this is only my opinion. It has the telltale parallel grain lines that are characteristic of celluloid. Celluloid was invented by the Hyatt brothers, in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey in 1868.
Pin measures 1 7/8" by 1 1/2" or 48mm by 38mm, with the rose standing 12mm or 1/2" off of the heart.
Very good condition. There are the 2 pin size holes to the back, mentioned above. These holes are not visible from the front of the brooch. There is a little swing and a slight bend, to the pin stem but the clasp is secure and there is some light scratching to the front of the heart (please click on the photos for a close up view).
Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
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