Leap of Faith: Victorian Equestrian Brooch
The advent of industrialization during the Victorian era created a unique social construct – that of the leisure class in which an increased number of people had both the money and time to engage in something besides work. While certain activities were still heavily cemented within the confines of the wealthy class, jewelry with themes such as gaming and sporting became wild popular with the middle strata.
The most popular of this jewelry typically had an equestrian theme. Here we have quite a detailed brooch of 15k yellow gold and silver perfect for the equestrian arts participant, horse lover, hunter jumper or even a racing enthusiast. This is an accurate representation of a “hunting whip” – a piece of equipment not used on a horse but rather carried by a mounted rider for a number of tasks such as opening and closing gates with its hooked handle whilst remaining in seat.
In this bejeweled version the typical stag horn handle is silver and studded with diamonds. In addition, this brooch has a silver diamond encrusted thong and yellow gold braided whip used to prevent the hounds from coming too close to the feet of the horse. Please note that the gold corded lash is attached through the keeper and wrapped around the yellow gold stock.
A galloping horse of silver with a red paste eye is caught stop motion in mid leap as its determined rider ensconced in enamel painted silks, boots and cap of white, yellow, black blue and burnt sienna. In all, nineteen (19) diamonds with most old mine cuts with six of the smallest being rose cuts, have an estimated total diamond weight of .58 carats.
Date: Circa 1880.
Measurements: 2-1/4 inches (5.7 cm) in length including bale by 11/16 of an inch (1.8 cm) in width. Weight of 5.1 grams (3.3 dwt).
Note: Diamond weights are approximated by measurement and formula and may vary from actual if removed. All metals are acid tested.
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