Festive red accent

Pretty antique brooch made of bohemian garnets, around 1890

Garnets from Bohemia are among the classics of jewellery. As so-called "carbuncle stones" they were already attributed magical powers in the Middle Ages and they appear in the literature of that time as "Bohemian fire dragons", which underpins their mystical charge once again. The great triumph of the typical Bohemian garnet jewellery began when Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) visited the crown land of Bohemia on her honeymoon in 1854 and was given some of the treasures of the Bohemian mines as a gift. The empress had an entire parure, i.e. an extensive set of jewellery, made from these garnets and presented herself in the gleam of the garnets to Viennese society at a court ball. The very next day - or so the story goes - a veritable run on jewellery with the fire dragons broke out: All the ladies of Vienna wanted to own Bohemian garnet jewellery. This enthusiasm for the dark red stone then spread like wildfire throughout Europe and Bohemia, which had been poor until then, experienced a great period of prosperity due to the strong demand for garnets. Numerous pieces of jewellery in countless shapes were created: Stars, blossoms, even corn ears or butterflies then adorned the dresses of ladies with dark red sparkle. The brooch presented here shows itself as a round shield with a sparkling star on top. The design presents countless garnets in various cuts, set in gold-plated tombac as was typical of the period. The result is a festive piece of jewellery that found its way to us here in Berlin.

Garnet, as a dark, blood-red and mysterious stone, has always been the object of desire for women of all ages. Garnet jewellery suits almost every occasion and is therefore not only worn in the evening or on festive occasions. Most commonly used are the dark red pyrope garnets. In the Middle Ages they were counted among the preferred carbuncle stones and even today you can see a lot of antique jewellery set with red garnets. These mostly come from sites in Bohemia. Since the garnet as a gemstone is relatively insensitive, once acquired garnet jewelry can be a companion for a lifetime.

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.


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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.

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