En Tremblant: Gem Set Butterfly Brooch
Jewelers of the 18th and 19th century were often challenged to find innovative ways to showcase their gem-set jewelry. Even into the 19th century gemstones were cut and polished by hand; such techniques attempted to display the best attributes and minimize the less than ideal qualities and led to innovation.
One of those advances is the method of displaying a jewel was “en tremblant”. Literally meaning “trembling” in French, this technique incorporated various mechanisms, ranging from thin wires to more complex springs and coils which responded in an animated manner to any movement created by the wearer.
This 20th century stylized butterfly brooch of 18k yellow gold is encrusted from head to tip of its abdomen with precious jewels. Patterned with colorful bands, one hundred sixty-three (163) brilliant cut diamonds with a total estimated weight of 1.7 carats, sixty-six (66) rubies plus two (2) cabochon ruby eyes of an estimated total of .50 carats and forty (40) natural emeralds of about .35 carats flaunt their intense colors in an animated play of the forewings.
The beautiful yellow gold infrastructure affords a warm contrast to the brilliance of the faceted gems.
Measurements: 1 inch (2.5 cm) in length from antenna to bottom by 2-1/8 inches (5.4 cm) in width. Weigh of 13.6 grams (8.7 dwt).
Hallmarks: “18k”; maker's mark of “b”.
Date & Origin: Later 20th century and is American in origin.
Note: Stones have not been removed from their mounts to preserve the integrity of the setting. All diamond and gemstone weights have been approximated by measurement and formula and may vary from actual weights.
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