Tender embrace

Antique "Pietra Dura" brooch with funnel winds, around 1890

Pietra Dura jewellery has been a popular souvenir of every visit to Florence since the Renaissance. Especially in the 19th century, many travellers brought these small works of art from Florence back home, in the most diverse shapes and with the most diverse motifs. The brooch presented here shows such a mosaic of cut stones. We see funnel vine and forget-me-not in front of a black background. Artfully the stones of the composition are chosen in such a way that a naturalistic veining of the leaf surfaces is created - a small masterpiece of illusionism. In the language of flowers, which was part of general education especially in the 19th century and was often spoken in jewellery, the funnel vine stands for courtship, tender love, as the plant's peculiar winding reflects the human embrace, while the forget-me-not is chosen as a flower with a speaking name anyway. The stone plaque is set as a brooch. The framing here is made of rolled gold, in which a thin sheet of gold has been rolled onto a core of base metal. This creates a permanent form of gilding and the brooch still shines in a warm golden tone. We discovered the beautiful work in Hamburg.

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 classical 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 was 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. But even today, at 78 Via degli Alfani, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure is a workshop that specializes solely in the production of works of art using this technique. Pietra Dura jewellery has been a popular souvenir of every visit to Florence since the Renaissance. Especially in the 19th century, during the era of the Grand Tour, young noblemen from Northern Europe brought back pieces from their extensive travels in Italy to show the beauty and artistry of Italy to those at home.

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.


OUR PROMISE

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.

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