Florentia - the blooming one

Antique Pietra Dura brooch with roses & forget-me-nots, Florence circa 1860

The Romans once named the city of Florence after Florentia, the Roman goddess of flowers and plant growth. How appropriate seems the wonderful representation of a lushly blooming rose branch with forget-me-nots executed in the finest Pietra Dura technique from the artistic city on the Arno. In a simple setting of 14-carat gold and silver, this piece of jewellery, created around 1860, is to be worn as a brooch. In front of the black ground of matted onyx, the oval field shows the rose branch made of different types of stones. Delicately the stones of the composition are chosen just enough to create a naturalistic impression of the plant - a small masterpiece of illusionism. The forget-me-not formed from turquoise is used meaningfully, as is the rose, since both plants are signs of love. This brooch is masterfully crafted down to the last detail and beautifully preserved. Without question, this is a collector's item - but at the same time a piece of jewellery that still inspires today and is just waiting to be worn!

Pietra Dura (it. "hard stone") is a traditional craft from Florence, in which pictures and ornaments are composed of platelets of hard stone. Unlike the classic mosaic art of coloured cubes or pins, the Pietra Dura process uses precisely adapted shaped pieces, which are cut according to the corresponding fields of the preliminary drawing. This creates particularly resistant, durable decorative surfaces. The heyday of the Pietra Dura craft in Florence occurred in the 16th century, when not only the famous Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo was decorated, but also numerous tables, pieces of jewellery, altars and in fact every conceivable object was decorated with this elaborate and costly technique. Still today, in Via degli Alfani 78, you can find the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, a workshop that specializes solely in the production of works of art using this technique. Pietra Dura jewellery has therefore been a popular souvenir of every visit to Florence since the Renaissance. Especially in the 19th century, in the age of the Grand Tour, the young nobles from Northern Europe brought corresponding pieces from their extended trips to Italy back home, in order to show the beauty and artistry of Italy to those at home.

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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.