Look Deeply: Antique Lover’s Eye Brooch
Lover’s eye jewelry was initially used as a token of romantic love and affection. The symbolism soon shifted to incorporate friendship and memorializing family members. For additional information regarding lover’s eye jewelry view helpful terms in our jewelry history section at http://www.georgianjewelry.com/reference/helpful_terms. (Please paste into another browser to open.)
This Georgian era brooch of 15k yellow gold features a portrait miniature of the right blue eye of a gentleman. The finely painted image is watercolor on ivory. Almost photographic in its representation, the eye gazes directly at the viewer as its well groomed eyebrow of dark ash blond remains in perfect repose.
A surround of twenty-four (24) natural half pearls (untested but guaranteed to be natural) of approximately 3 mm plus in diameter frames the enigmatic lover’s eye. The pearls are creamy white with hints of blue, grey and purple.
The reverse reveals the original tube hinge and C clasp. Please note that the length of the pin stem exceeds that of the brooch. This characteristic, found on most original Georgian brooches acts as a safety by securing the fitting and then inserting the extended pin stem into the fabric of the clothing.
In addition, inscribed to the reverse in italicized script is “John Boynes Obt 7 Nov 1831 AET 56" and "Elizabeth Boynes Obt 14 June 1824, Aet 43". Obt is a Latin abbreviation for date of death and AET is one which specified the age at death.
Date: Circa 1830 for the brooch; possibly slightly later for the miniature.
Measurements: 1-1/8 inch (2.9 cm) in length by 13/16 of an inch (2.1 cm) in width. Weight of 5.7 grams (3.7 dwt).
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