The splendor of the Belle Époque

Splendid diamond brooch in gold & silver, around 1905

"Butterfly! Butterfly!" - The last bars of Madama have faded away, the audience still shudders briefly in the face of the sad music - but as soon as the gas lights slowly ignite and the great hall of the Opéra-Comique fills with their golden light, the laughter of the ladies resounds, the bravos of the audience resound, and it is clear: the first performance of the opera in Paris in 1905 was a complete success! After two and a half hours of staring at the stage, our eyes slowly adjust to the light. Slowly, very slowly, the black suits of the gentlemen peel out of the darkness; the red liveried ushers can be made out earlier. The golden stuccos of the hall emerge from the darkness, the genii and busts under the ceiling of the great round. The great robes of the ladies shine in the light. Silk crackles, atlas rustles, and jewels of innumerable diamonds glisten with the first spark of the lamps. Diamonds wherever the eye looks, set in silver to show off their white radiance all the better in the warm light of the lamps. Brooches, rings, necklaces, tiaras in Belle Époque shapes: elegantly curved, with echoes of the Rococo, the Baroque, the Renaissance or graphically modern... The piece presented here could have been one of them at that time. Created in the years around 1905, it speaks precisely this language of the Belle Époque. Old brilliant cut and rose cut diamonds are set in silver, which is held in place by high karat gold on the back. All light, all glow is concentrated on the wonderful stones, which are lined with mille handles and separated by small shadow gaps that add another chord to the play of light and shadow. The brooch is designed as an elongated octagon and is centrally defined by a recumbent diamond lined with symmetrical foliage. A large old-cut diamond sparkles at its centre. A total of 98 rose-cut diamonds occupy every free space. As a special highlight, the back of the brooch is also made of yellow gold. While the front is made entirely of silver and diamonds, the brooch becomes even more beautiful when turned over: here the gold is wonderfully worked, sawn, openworked and pleasantly curved. The goldsmith's work of an unknown master is in first-class condition and found its way to us here in Berlin from a private estate.

Rose-cut diamonds - also called "rose couronée", crowned roses - can already be found in 16th century jewellery, and famous diamonds such as the "Orloff" or the "Grand Mogul" are also cut into roses. This form of diamond cut is characterized by the fact that the upper side of the diamond is faceted in a star shape and the underside is cut flat. This creates a very specific, soft shimmer that is very different from the sometimes glaring sparkle of today's brilliant diamonds. The diamond rose, which originated in the Netherlands, therefore still enjoys many lovers today, because beautiful roses made of diamond are increasingly rare to find.

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.