Amethyst Depths - Georgian Cannetille Brooch
The Georgian era was a period in love with the splendor of jewelry. Man or woman, gentleman or gentlewoman was awash in buckles and buttons of glitter. The later years of the 18th century onward reclaimed the allure of the colored gemstone, especially amethyst, aquamarine and topaz. In addition, the late 1700s saw incredible gold wirework (cannetille) emerge and literally takeover until well into the late 1830s.
Here we see an example of that exquisite technique of twisting and wrapping threads of gold into spirals, rosettes, coils and tendrils in the formation of an amethyst-set cross brooch of 15k yellow gold. Intricate cannetille is an achievement reached only by a master goldsmith.
Overall grand in scale in counterpoint to the lace-like finery of gold thread, five (5) large faceted oval amethysts interweave with eight (8) smaller oval and round cut amethysts into a filigree of beehive elements, twisting vines and patterns coil and cling in a virtual tableau of wonderment and skill. In all, more than 35 carats of passionate purple amethyst lends itself to the buttery soft glow of antique gold. Please note the reverse reveals a brooch fitting and an additional fitting which can easily be made for wear as a pendant.
Date: Circa 1820.
Measurements: 3 inches (7.6 cm) in length by 2-5/8 inches (6.7 cm) in width by 7/16 of an inch (1.1 cm) in depth. Weight of 30 grams (19.3 dwt).
Origin: Mostly likely English.
Note: Gemstones were not removed to preserve the integrity of the setting. Weights are approximated by measurement and formula and may vary from actual weight.
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