Victorian Halley’s Comet Diamond Brooch
Awareness of astronomical and celestial events has been a part of the history of humans since the beginning of time. These types of occurrences have been cause for celebration, awe or interpreted as portents and forewarnings of the future. Such happenings have been incorporated as a theme for Georgian and Victorian jewelry from the 18th and through to the 20th century – the production of which was often stimulated by the actual observance of such phenomena such as that of Halley’s Comet in 1836.
Until the 1940s, these “comet brooches” were almost invariably diminutive in size ranging from ¾ of an inch to 1-1/2 inches at the largest. How the comets were represented could range from foliate forms to cameos with precious jewels or paste - their invention is such a diminutive size is inspiring.
Here this early Victorian example employs twenty-seven (27) marvelously chunky faceted old mine and cushion cut diamonds with a total estimated weight of 1.75 carats (SI1-2 clarity). Commiserate with the event, the gems are white and extremely fiery and lively with a color range of (I-L) slightly champagne only visible with magnification. How such a grand amount of radiance could be compressed into such a petite package is a mystery of its own making, the center of the flower is 15k yellow gold with silver for the rest of the piece. The reverse is yellow gold over silver. Singularly the finest comet brooch we have ever presented!
Date: Circa 1840.
Measurements: 1-1/4 inches (3.2 cm) in length by 3/4 of an inch (1.9 cm) in width. Weight of 5.9 grams (3.8 dwt).
Condition: Excellent; flip up safety catch added to the reverse.
Origin: Most likely English.
Note: Diamond weights are approximated by measurement and formula and may vary from actual if removed. Grading may also vary. All metals are acid tested.
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