Brilliant exterior

Victorian novelty brooch in the shape of a horse, around 1890

As early as the late 1860s, jewelry fashions began that were so eccentric they still amaze today. So-called Novelty jewelry in a variety of figurative forms suddenly adorned the collars, ears and wrists of ladies, and the motifs surpassed each other again and again. Rock crystal balls with fish motifs, for example, were worn as so-called aquarium earrings in the 1860s, followed by miniature kitchen utensils as earrings in the following decade. Mice were allowed to scurry across narrow bangles in the 1880s. Many of these motifs were short-lived, intended primarily to amaze and provoke conversation. Others, however, lasted longer. The brooch here is an example of a motif idea that enjoyed great popularity for decades. The brooch depicts a noble racehorse at a gallop. First appearing in the late 1860s after the victories of the famous racehorse Gladiateur, jewelry with references to horse racing continued to be worn into the early 20th century. Jewelry catalogs of the time depict similar brooches and pins as late as about 1905. The brooch is a representative of this fashion and can be dated to the late years of Victorian rule. Set all over with a total of about 0.55 ct diamonds, the little horse sparkles with every movement of the wearer. A red gemstone forms the eye of the noble animal. The pin found its way to us from London and is a beautiful piece of jewelry that inspires conversation today as it did over a century ago.

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.