Exotic South Seas

Precious lapel pin with the head of a Polynesian, around 1860

In the course of European expansion and the race for ever new colonies, even the most remote regions of the world were subjugated by the great powers. The Europeans met the inhabitants living there with a mixture of contempt and admiration. On the one hand, the "savages" were considered backward, immature and primitive, just waiting to be civilized by the Europeans. On the other hand, however, the image of the noble savage developed, the ideal image of the natural man uncorrupted by civilization. The concept expresses the idea that man is inherently good without the bonds of civilization. As in the paradisiacal innocence of the Garden of Eden before the Fall, in the Greek myth of the Golden Age, as well as on the fabled Island of the Blessed, these so-called "primitive peoples" were supposed to exist. Hardly any region corresponded to this image as well as the island world of the Pacific. The South Seas with their palm-covered islands were described exuberantly by the early explorers. Soon they advanced to a place of longing, where a carefree life was possible. Islands such as Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, which were claimed by France as French Polynesia from 1842, became the epitome of this dream. Illustrations of the island world with its exotic plants and animals as well as its inhabitants reached the mother country in the following years and also stimulated the imagination of jewellery designers there. Our pin originates from this environment and takes us back to the middle years of the 19th century. The showpiece shows the detailed head of a Polynesian made of silver. A sweeping crown of feathers and a broad collar are forged of gold and set with glittering diamond roses. Two movable earrings complete the magnificent appearance. The pin is beautifully preserved its workmanship and the cut of the diamond allow us to date the piece to around 1860.

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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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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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