A star in the jeweled sky

Magnificent sunburst brooch with sapphire & diamonds, around 1880

The diamond-set star or sunburst was one of the most popular jewellery items of the late 19th century. The fashion began with Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who had made diamond stars as brooches and hair adornments popular at the Viennese court. The famous portrait of the Empress by Franz Xaver Winterhalter shows her with a plethora of diamond stars in her long dark hair, made by jeweller to the court A. E. Köchert. The jewel at hand is a result of this fashion. Exquisitely crafted, it can be worn as a brooch or a pendant, as the pin can be unscrewed and the bail hidden. Overall 168 diamonds in historical cuts have been used to set the piece entirely. 28 diamond-set rays surround the dark blue sapphire at the centre of the design. An additional halo of fine diamonds surrounds the blue gemstone. All the stones are set à jour - in open settings - allowing them to truly shine. Typically of the time, the front of the piece has been crafted from silver, so as not to tint the diamonds, whilst the back is made of slightly rose-toned gold. The design, techniques and materials allow us to date the piece to the years around 1880.

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.