Summer Bird

Large vintage brooch with opals in rose gold, around 1955

Adorning oneself with other people's feathers, this desire is as old as mankind. Especially in the late 19th century it was a big fashion to equip hats, fans, accessories and even whole dresses with feathers. Hardly any hat could do without heron feathers, the long tail feathers of birds of paradise or the bushy feathers of ostriches - some over a metre long, some tiny and in all the colours of the rainbow. In 1886, Frank Chapman, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, determined that 542 of 700 hats worn by ladies in New York had feathers or even whole birds attached. In 1892, the single shipment for a feather shop in London consisted of the feathers of about 6,000 birds of paradise, 40,000 hummingbirds, and 360,000 birds from the Caribbean. The feather-shaped brooch here is a late child of this great tradition, but fortunately no bird had to give up feathers for you. It is made of warm shining gold and set with nine opals from Australia. The opals, cut into cabochons, are milky white. In the sunlight, red and green, and occasionally blue light reflections appear and wander across the stones. The light play of the opals is a beautiful transfer of the shimmering light reflections found on real feathers into the medium of jewellery. The slightly reddish gold complements the play of colors and makes one think of an exotic summer bird. We discovered the brooch here in Berlin. It was probably made in the United States in the 1950s.

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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.

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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