Antique Art Nouveau Arts & Crafts brooch. Gold, diamonds, enamel, mother of pearl. Made circa 1900 by Marcus & Co.
Measurements: Weight is 17.5 grams. Length a little under 1.75inches (4.4cms). Approximately .15ct diamonds.
Please see below for description.
Description :An oval brooch, sweeping up to a 'crown' on top. Swirling overlapping scrolls and loops. Marcus & Co liked to combine guilloce enamel with gems. Enamel, outlined in raised gold and forming scrolled terminals. Blue and Green enamel is extremely rich and royal and set off beautifully by the gold. Quality of workmanship is seen in the stippled and swooping gold work that continue from the front, around the sides to the back of the brooch, where it would not be seen. Scrolls forming upper terminal in a crown form. On the opposite, bottom side, the edge converts to a long, rectangle, pave set with diamonds.
The original center stone of the brooch was missing and we replaced it with a Mother of Pearl center that picks up the exact tones of the enamel and gold work and adds to the ocean/marine appearance of the brooch, working quite magnificently with the original colors. A breathtaking example of Marcus & Co. as wearable today as it was 1 1/4 centuries ago.
An almost identical brooch can be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Part of their description reads: The vivid colours of this brooch reflect the preference for brightly hued stones and enamel found in both Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau jewels. It was made by the New York firm of Marcus & Co., which was one of America’s most important producers of fine Art Nouveau jewellery.
Marcus won a prize for his original employer, Tiffany & Co in the 19th century. Thereafter, he opened his own business and his work (and of his sons) is considered on a par with Tiffany - if perhaps more rare, but highly sought after by knowledgeable collectors.
Even if it was not signed Marcus & Co., every feature of this brooch proclaims its origin: from the shape and design which is a variation of other similar pieces by M&C, to the bright enameling, the combination of enamel and gems.
Marks and Metal: Marcus & Co on an applied plaque at the back. All similar brooches we found were described as 18k, but we tested the gold as 14k.
Condition: Good with negligible wear commensurate with age. See description of original center stone. Enamel in good shape. Please see enlarged pictures and don't hesitate to ask questions which we will do our best to answer.
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