It was love at first sight when we saw this treasure softly sparkling away beneath the glass of its display case. A little sleuth work went into deciphering the symbolism of this diamond and enamel (guilloché) brooch. It appears to be a token of love given upon marriage. The telltale sign? The oval of diamonds beneath the initial. Two enamel brooches with similar ovals are part of the Jewelry collection at the V&A museum. The are described as a marriage wreath placed above or below an initial. Possibly given to welcome the bride into her new family?
At 1.6 inches long and 1.25 inches wide, this brooch is a statement piece! The oval and the initial "R" above are spelled out via rose cut diamonds. They sit upon a rich blue enamel backdrop. All protected by a glass dome. The glass is then surrounded by a gold rim engraved with a foliate pattern against a gold backing with tow stripes of enamel in blue and white. As you move the brooch around, the light reflects a soft sparkle from the of the rose cut diamonds and you can see the subtle engine turned engraving (sun-ray pattern) beneath the blue enamel. Simply stunning! Wear it as is, or consider converting it to a pendant to wear with a gold link watch chain necklace.
Dimensions & Details: Bow Brooch
- The length of the brooch is just approximately 1.6 inches by 1.25 inches.
- The metal is gold and tests as 9 ct. The decorative rim is likely to be of higher carat but too delicate to test.
- The diamonds are rose cuts.
Period & Hallmarks
- 19th c. early Victorian.
- Not marked.
- The brooch is in good antique condition with a few minor imperfections that come with age and wear. There are some surface abrasions and a few scratches to the glass dome. The glass is not clouded and the imperfections for the most part are only visible via magnification. There were a few minor chips to the outside enamel stripes, but we sent the brooch to our favorite antique restoration jeweler for cleaning and minor touch-ups to the outside enamel stripes. These minor imperfections are only visible with magnification. There is a slight indention to the outside edge. This is only visible upon close inspection or at certain angles. (See pictures).
About Guilloché Enamel
Guilloché Enamel can be identified by the pattern engraved into the metal beneath the enamel. A detailed, precise, repetitive pattern (spirals, stripes, and other geometric shapes) is engraved into the material (usually metal, e.g. gold, silver etc.) prior to application of the enamel via an engine turning machine or tool. The enamel is often translucent, more so or less so depending upon the application and the color. As you turn the piece and it catches the light you can see the play of light on the engraved pattern underneath.
Outside of the U.S.? Please contact us for a shipping quote.
Note: The box is for display purposes and is not original to this piece. We will send your purchase beautifully packaged.