Georgian Chrysoberyl Crescent Moon Brooch
If anyone could bring the heavens down to earth, it was the jewelers of the Georgian era. The crescent moon motif was very much in vogue during the later decades of the 19th century. Most often this form was used in brooches and earrings. To see this design employed during the late 18th century is unusual. In addition to the configuration, this brooch is a superb and rare form and use of the chrysoberyl. A gemstone not well understood, it was extremely popular on the Iberian Peninsula during the 1700s. Also referred to as chrysolite, today most examples are scarce. With its high refractive index, it emanates a shimmering brilliance.
Looking far better in person than in our photos, this is hand cut into magnificent round, trapezoidal, teardrop, square and rectangular shapes, all original, these pale chartreuse colored stones have been hand faceted with an unusual pattern which is almost star-like in design. Like French cut diamonds with extra facets at the four corners, these gems are quite special in brilliance and appearance. Foiled and set closed back into silver, three curvilinear arrays of fiery gems with open work between the two outer rows merge to form the framework of the antique brooch. The round cuts appear as divinely celestial stars. Beautiful pavé work accents the edges as end tips of silver complete the look. The brooch still retains its original C-clasp.
Measurements: 1-11/16 inches (4.3 cm) in length by 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) in width by ¼ of an inch ( 0.7 cm) in depth not including the pin mechanism. At 20 grams it is substantial in weight.
Condition: Very good; three stones appear slightly more bronze or peach due to the oxidation of the foiling beneath; this is more apparent in some types of light, although it generally shows very little. Later but still early tube hinge or the tube hinge came off the base and was then reattached to the pin. Only one stone has a few minute chips.
Date: Circa 1780