Heart Flower

Enchanting art nouveau brooch with 2.30 ct sparkling diamonds, around 1895

Playful, light and yet precious is the late 19th century brooch presented here. A frame of swinging lines forms a sparkling heart. A glittering flower grows from within the heart to the light. All elements are equally richly set with diamonds and thus form an enchanting unity. The brooch sets about 2.30 ct of diamonds in old European cuts. The large stones in their cushion shape may have been cut as early as the first half of the 19th century. In the brooch presented here, they then experienced a new use. Obviously, the owner wanted a piece of jewellery that was in line with the latest fashion. The diamonds from the family estate were then rearranged to form this piece of jewellery. The brooch is made of gold with a silver face. This technique, which was typical throughout the 19th century, was intended to create an optimal environment for the numerous rose cut diamonds with which the piece is richly set, so that they could unfold their soft shimmer unadulterated by the colorfulness of the gold. Platinum or white gold were not yet available to goldsmiths in the 19th century. Silver, on the other hand, could be worked and was loved precisely for its darker shimmer in the depths of the jewels: the light of the diamonds thus creates a very special impression of its own, matching the soft light of the boudoirs of the time.

In ancient times, diamonds were valued primarily for their incomparable hardness. As symbols of invincible strength, their beauty was secondary at best. In fact, early diamonds do not appear at all attractive to the modern eye. Medieval cutting techniques also did not allow for spectacular light reflections, and the widespread table cuts only brought out the brightness and color of the stones. All this changed in the course of the 17th century. The nobility of the Baroque period developed a taste for glittering gemstones. Rose Cut diamonds, whose many facets reflected candlelight beautifully, were particularly popular. In the middle of the century, a first, early brilliant cut developed, called the Mazarin cut after the influential Cardinal Jules Mazarin, characterized by a crown of 17 facets. By the end of the century, these diamonds were then replaced by a new shape, named the Peruzzi cut after its inventor. Vincenzo Peruzzi was a gem cutter from Venice, who increased the crown of the diamonds by additional facets to a total of 33, thus increasing the fire of the stones enormously. However, these early brilliant diamonds were not standardized in terms of the number and shape of the facets. Each stone was cut in such a way that as much substance as possible could be preserved. New diamond deposits in Brazil in the second half of the 18th century then led to a cut shape that became known as the old mine cut. These diamonds are already very similar to today's full cut diamonds, but it would take several more generations of continuous development of the cutting technique before the old mine cut became the old European cut, and finally, in the 1940s, the modern full cut.

We want you to be 100% satisfied! For that reason, we examine, describe and photograph all of our jewellery with the utmost care.

You can rely on our years of experience in the trade and our expertise as a professional art historians for reviews of the antique jewellery. As a member of various trader organisations and the British Society of Jewellery Historians, we remain committed to the highest possible degree of accuracy. In our descriptions, we always also indicate any signs of age and defects and never hide them in our photos – this saves you from any unpleasant surprises when your package arrives.

Should you for some reason not be satisfied, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can begin to find a solution together. In any case, you can return any article within 30 days and we will refund the full purchase price.


We want you to be 100% satisfied! That’s why we examine, describe and photograph all our jewellery with the utmost care.

If for any reason you are still not satisfied, contact us and we will find a mutual solution immediately. Regardless, you can return any item within 30 days and we will refund you the full purchase price.