Antique Victorian Napoleon III brooch pendant. 18k gold, some silver, diamonds, ruby, sapphires, peridot, pearls and agate cameo. Made in Paris, France circa 1870. Maker believed to be Shaeffer, who worked in Paris. Unisex - suitable for a man or a woman.
Measurements: Weight is 27.4 grams. Total length is 10cm ( 3 1/2 inches). Diamond above turban is 0.16ct and rose cut diamonds are 1.58ct. Sapphires are 0.42ct. Ruby is 0.28ct. Peridot 0.74ct. Pearls4.2-4.5mm.
Please see below for full description.
Description : Versatile jewelry that can be worn as either a brooch or a pendant. Removable bale and removable (unscrews) pin with c-clasp that folds over when not in use.
Consists of 3 parts: a triangular upper section with a bale and openwork scrolling gold foliage centered by a pearl. Large bale accommodates a large chain or ribbon. Hooks over the main body of the piece. The main body is also a gently rounded triangular shield shape. A large carved cameo commands most of the central area. Superbly depicted blackamoor wearing a turban. The cameo is hand carved from natural agate. The cameo has no less than 6 layers of striations or colored layers of the single stone from which it was so masterfully created. The uppermost section of the cameo is the white, fluted turban. Directly above it is an Old Mine Cut diamond. The cameo is surrounded by pave set rose cut diamonds as well as a colette-set ruby and another trapezoid peridot that mimics the shape of the shield and finally a very lovely blue sapphire. Another pair of matching sapphires are attached on the top corners. A pearl is set in the middle of the upper border and forms a line with the ruby, peridot and bottom sapphire. The whole is surrounded by openwork gold scrolls and foliage that matches the surmount. It is bordered by gold globules and a further pair of diamonds. At the bottom is more directly representative foliage with that suspends the bottom section / drop, consisting of a single pearl.
The pearls have not been tested, but are believed to be natural.
Pave set diamonds around the cameo are set in silver, as was the custom during the 19th century.
This is a very special and rare item of jewelry. The workmanship is a tour de force. Beyond the beautiful materials and gems, intrigueing theme and great workmanship, is the sheer size of the piece. This makes it particularly versatile as a 'gender fluid' or unisex item, suitable for either a man or a woman.
Marks and Metal: The squiggely long hook and loop that attache the surmount and main sections have engraved numbers or symbols that are somewhat worn. The upper section of the surmount has the French eagle head, indicative of 18k gold as well as a maker's mark for Schaeffer, Paris.
Condition: Good with minor wear commensurate with age. Patina accumulated over the centuries could be cleaned, but many purists would not approve, so we have left the darker/dirtier areas as they are. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
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