A rare and early example of the Giardinetti or 'little flower' jewelry that originated in Italy but was also produced in England and France during the mid-1700s to early 1800s. This example is one of the earlier models set with what is known as 'black dot paste' where the jeweler painted a little black dot on the very back of the paste before it was foiled and set. Only the very best paste had this extra step added to simulate the look of a 'real' diamond (although there are some pieces of very fine paste without it, many of the times the dot is included).
The brooch measures about 2 1/2" x 2" and the paste are set in an unmarked but tested silver, typical of the period as precious and semi-precious metals were not required to be marked for grade until a much later time. There are a variety of different cuts of paste each specifically cut for their setting; the brooch is in good condition with just very minor wear to a few of the stones all consistent with the age, which I would put at about the mid-1700s. There is one minute chip to the very end paste on the viewers right and can be seen if very closely inspected (please enlarge photos for details) and the largest center paste is a bit off color but all very beautiful and fine quality.
Very early Giardinetti design jewel likely English in origin, circa 1740-1760.
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