Brooch – Victorian Garnet Bar Brooch
A Victorian rose gold-coloured bar brooch¹ styled as a wide fusiform bar centrally claw-set with a pyrope² garnet. Secured with pin and hook fitting. Circa 1890-1900.
Assessment of the Garnet.
Cut: rectangular step-cut.
Measuring: 5.80mm x 4.11mm x 2.86mm.
Calculated weight: 0.75cts.
Colour: deep orangey red (7.5R.12/4).
Clarity: I1 (stone has external feature/scratch to table facet).
Details of the Setting.
Measuring: 48.62mm x 7.24mm.
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. The best examples, coloured red by chromium, are known as pyrope, and approximate the colour of ruby” (David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti 'Understanding Jewellery', 1989). “The term pyrope is derived from the Greek word πup, meaning ‘fire’, and Όπtouxi, meaning, ‘I see’. Varying in colour from slightly orangey-red to red, and on to violet-red as the iron from the almandine alters the hue position, pyrope can exhibit a very striking, bright fiery hue” (John D. Rouse, ‘Garnet’, 1986).