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Victorian Panel Brooch Circa 1890
An antique 9ct gold brooch designed as a wide panel decorated with an oval central motif grain-set with small half pearls and red paste styled as a small flower¹. Finished with a double
Brooch – Victorian Panel Brooch
An antique 9ct gold brooch designed as a wide panel decorated with an oval central motif grain-set with small half pearls and red paste styled as a small flower¹. Finished with a double boarder of twisted rope gold work and spherules. Secured with a pin and hook. Circa 1890.
Measuring: 40.16mm x 16.08mm.
Hallmarked: 9ct gold, Chester, 1890.
Sponsor’s mark: ‘H&N’ (attributed to Hollis & Newman).
Assessment of the Gemstones.
Average measurement: 1.50mm.
Cut: round single-cut.
¹. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of these brooches is the elaborate symbolism used and the meaningful motives which were heaped upon each piece. Endless variations were produced from a small selection of the most popular motifs, but occasionally you may find a more unusual motif and simple. The study of flower law was taken very seriously in the second half of the 19th century. The translation of the language of flowers, in particular, had become a fashionable pastime in the 1850s, and several small volumes had been published as guides to the various meanings of flowers. They also delved into the exotic associations of flowers with ancient and eastern tales. Items of sentiment always showed their meaning with flower motif. By the time they appeared on almost every one of the stamped-out brooches of the 1890s the various species of plants could barely be recognised and the flowers and leaves became very stylised.
The ivy leaf meaning friendship, fidelity and marriage; little round five or six lift petals stylised flower which appear most often I love brooches, always almost represents forget-me-nots for true love; the fern symbolising fascination, magic and sincerity; and the bluebell for constancy, the lily of the valley, marriage, were amongst the most popular. The rose had a different meaning for each variety; a cabbage rose meant ambassador of love, and a thorn-less rose early attachment. The flowers were usually overlaid with pink gold and the leaves with yellow gold (Vivian Becker, ‘Antique and Twentieth Century Jewellery: A Guide for Collectors’, 1980).
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