Brooch – Edwardian Garnet Bar Brooch
An antique Edwardian bar brooch¹ arranged as a parallel pair of narrow bars connected with a central spiralled element featuring a claw-set almandine garnet and small pearls, with a yellow and rose gold-coloured construction, secured with a pin and hook. Circa 1900-1910.
Assessment of the Gemstones.
Measuring: 3.40mm x 3.31mm (depth immeasurable).
Estimated weight: 0.18cts.
Colour: moderate purplish red (5RP.10/5).
Graduated measurements: 1.30mm to 2.00mm.
Details of the Setting.
Measuring: 44.90mm x 9.85mm.
Unhallmarked: tested and valued as 9ct gold.
¹. Bar brooches appeared in the 1890s and immediately enjoyed a great success. In its simplest form the bar brooch was plainly set with a single diamond, but its functional shape offered the jeweller a field in which to exploit their fantasy and imagination, thus bar brooches were decorated with crescents and stars, sprays of leaves and flowers, pheasants and chanticleers, swallows and flies, shamrocks and clovers (David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti 'Understanding Jewellery', 1989). After 1900 and certainly by 1910 the cuir roule and overt styling on bar brooches was replaced by the simple shape of a straight line, sometimes set with calibrated gemstones, or using white gold or platinum.
². The name garnet does not refer to a single gemstone but rather a group of minerals which share similar chemical compositions and crystallise in the same system. The most commonly encountered are the reddish-brown stone, which although not rare can be very beautiful, and are called pyrope. The term almandine is derived from a small city in the Asia Minor (modern day Turkey), called ‘Alabanda’. The ‘precious almandine’ of the nineteenth century was considered the violetish-red, a colour said to be in vogue at the time (John D. Rouse, ‘Garnet’, 1986). When seen at its best the colour resembles a fine Claret and was in great demand in the nineteenth century, as the prevailing fashion of a pale completion and use of textured gold particularly suited the colour of the gemstone.