When Two Become One
Antique medallion brooch with diamonds & pearls, England 1890s
The brooch here shows two hearts in love made of diamonds in front of blue shimmering enamel. A framing with pearls, more diamonds and white enamel offers them a wonderful stage, lets the blue shine even deeper through the contrast with white. The brooch in gold, with its charming enamelling and romantic motif, was probably made in England in the 1890s. It shows the preference of the time for the elegant art of classicism, as jewellery with blue enamel had already been a great fashion around 100 years earlier. We discovered the brooch in London. If you turn it over, you discover a little secret. Because the brooch is at the same time a medallion and so a sentimental secret can be hidden here, which from now on can be worn on the heart, hidden from the looks of others. And at the same time it bears witness to third parties of the permanence of beautiful feelings - and perhaps it may also express the sound of your heart? Cf. on the dating David Bennet and Daniela Mascetti: Understanding Jewellery, Woodbridge 2010, p. 248.
Like so many details in the realm of historical jewelry, enamel has a very special history that is closely tied to ever-changing fashions. In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the overwhelming majority of even the most precious jewelry was intricately enameled. The technique was complicated and people loved intense colors, so enamel often framed and complemented the brilliance of precious gemstones. With the Rococo period, this taste initially turned. Coloured stones were increasingly easy to obtain from overseas colonies, and they were used to shine more seductively in the light of salon candles. Enamel, on the other hand, receded into the background and was hardly ever used. It was not until 1775 that the London goldsmith Jusen again created new jewels in enamel, now in a deep midnight blue that he combined with diamonds in silver settings. A few orders from the royal family that quickly became known to the public were now enough, and a new fashion was born: rings and brooches in Royal Blue Enamel were all the rage within a very short time, even in Paris. Here they were called "bagues de firmament", sky rings. From then on, fashions repeated themselves ever more rapidly. In the middle of the 19th century blue enamel became fashionable again. And shortly before 1900, jewellery with royal blue enamel was created once again, now following the first fashion shortly before 1800.
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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.
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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.