Massive Victorian Tiger Claw Brooch
Most of the antique tiger claw jewelry we see today was a result of the British colonizing the subcontinent of India. British military officers and colonials often hunted the destructive Bengal tiger. Souvenirs of the hunt, such as claws and teeth, were made into all sorts of baubles ranging from fobs to elaborately designed gold jacketed jewelry. This trend lasted from the mid 1850s well into the middle of the 20th century.
This very fine and large example of a Raj era brooch is clearly Victorian and one of the largest claws that The Three Graces has seen. The reverse reveals the original fittings of clasp, pin stem and tube hinge which places this piece clearly in the later part of the 19th century. The precise contours of the claw have been clad in 9k rose gold and hand engraved with flower and leaf motifs. The scalloped edge of the cap gives a nice detail to the gold work.
Date: Circa 1870-1880.
Condition: Excellent; some natural variations to color and texture due to the organic nature of a real claw.
Measurements: 1-1/2 inches (3.7 cm) in length by 2-3/8 inches (6.2 cm) in width without the extended pin stem by 1/2 of an inch (1.2 cm) in depth at the widest including brooch mount. This antique brooch has a weight of 12.1 grams (7.8 dwt).
Origin: Indian Raj or British Raj in origin.
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