Georgian Cut Steel Crescent Brooch

$250.00
About Details History

During the 1700’s France went to war and King Louis asked his subjects to donate their jewelry to the cause. While many did their patriotic duty and handed over their gold and gems, lots of people hid their jewels for the duration. Either way, it was unpatriotic to wear gold jewelry in public, but what the hell were people supposed to wear to fancy events? An alternative to diamonds was desperately needed, so in 1759 cut steel jewelry became widely popular. The English picked up on the trend shortly after, and that's where/when this crescent brooch was made. It's oversized and in relatively good condition, with some rust - it's almost impossible to find cut steel with no moisture damage at all. The price reflects this. 

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  • Materials: cut steel, steel/brass plate
  • Age: c. 1800
  • Condition: good. Some rust appears on some of the cut steel studs, which is the result of water damage. It's not severe. 
  • Size: 1.5" 
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
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GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
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About Details History

During the 1700’s France went to war and King Louis asked his subjects to donate their jewelry to the cause. While many did their patriotic duty and handed over their gold and gems, lots of people hid their jewels for the duration. Either way, it was unpatriotic to wear gold jewelry in public, but what the hell were people supposed to wear to fancy events? An alternative to diamonds was desperately needed, so in 1759 cut steel jewelry became widely popular. The English picked up on the trend shortly after, and that's where/when this crescent brooch was made. It's oversized and in relatively good condition, with some rust - it's almost impossible to find cut steel with no moisture damage at all. The price reflects this. 

less
more

  • Materials: cut steel, steel/brass plate
  • Age: c. 1800
  • Condition: good. Some rust appears on some of the cut steel studs, which is the result of water damage. It's not severe. 
  • Size: 1.5" 
  • Location: to see this piece in person, please visit our shop in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. 
less
more
GEORGIAN (1714 - 1837) The Georgian Era was named for the English Kings George I, II, III and IV. Within the powerful nations of France and England, fine gemstone jewelry was worn only by the extremely wealthy, and the styles were regal and ornate. As imperialist war raged in the Americas, Caribbean, Australia, and beyond, the jewelry industry benefited: colored gems from all over the empire became newly available. A mix of artistic influences from around Europe contributed to the feminine, glittering jewels of the era. Dense, ornate Baroque motifs from Italy showed up in Georgian jewelry, as did French Rococo’s undulating flora and fauna. Neoclassical style made use of Greek and Roman motifs, which were newly popular due to the recently uncovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Lapidary methods improved: the dome-shaped rose cut was popular, as was the “old mine cut”, a very early iteration of today’s round brilliant cut. The boat-shaped marquise diamond cut was developed around this time, supposedly to imitate the smile of Louis XV’s mistress, the marquise de Pompadour. Paste—an imitation gemstone made from leaded glass—was newly developed in the 18th century, and set into jewelry with the same creativity and care as its more precious counterparts. Real and imitation gems were almost always set in closed-backed settings, lined on the underside with thin sheets of foil to enhance the color of the stone and highlight it's sparkle. This makes Georgian rings tough for modern women to wear, especially on an everyday basis: genteel, jewelry-owning ladies of the 18th century were not famous for working with their hands like we are. Nor did they wash their hands as much as we do. Water will virtually ruin a foiled setting, so take special care with your Georgian ring. Very little jewelry from this period is still in circulation, and it's very difficult to repair.
less
more