Precious Finesse

Antique Cross Brooch in Gold With Pearls, Ruby & Agate, Around 1840

The warm glow of high-carat gold, the silky shimmer of genuine pearls and the flaming red of a genuine ruby, framed by the mysterious, misty agate: The large brooch here is a feast for the senses. And also a very special piece in several respects. On the one hand, the brooch presents itself in the form of a cross patée with religious significance: the cross as a symbol of Christianity is combined here with the Marian symbols of the pearl and the rose. On the back, the pendant bears a compartment in which a finely woven hair braid is embedded: obviously, it is a memento of a dear relative of the first wearer of the cross: the memory of the loved one was to be kept alive in this way, so as not to disappear in the mist of oblivion. On the other hand, the pendant fascinates by the finesse of its workmanship, especially the so elaborately and detailed flowers and leaves made of different coloured gold. This technique, which first appeared around 1840 and remained popular until the end of the 19th century, combines different gold alloys to create a particularly rich impression. Especially for naturalistic jewellery with blossom this kind of manufacturing was used to create variety and realism of the representation. In our cross, all these refinements combine to create a rich impression: every time you look at it, a new detail is revealed. It came to us from London and is a wonderful example of a piece of jewellery from the time of the young Queen Victoria. On the shape of this cross, see David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 85. With examples of the technique of polychrome gold from this period, see also Charlotte Gere/Judy Rudoe: Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria, A Mirror to the World, London: British Museum Press 2010, p. 159, p. 172, p. 180.

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.