Georgian Cut Steel Horseshoe Brooch

$300.00
About Details History
The early manufacture of cut-steel jewelry was painstaking work: each individual stud was faceted by hand and then riveted to a base plate made of silver or brass. The brilliant "gems" were intended for evening wear, as their adamantine luster was considered to be the most spectacular under candlelight. These jewels were in great demand for the last half of the eighteenth century and nearly all the way through the nineteenth. At the height of the fashion, a fine piece of cut-steel jewelry could command a higher price than gold. Georgian-era pieces, like this brooch, have as many as 15 hand-cut facets per stud, and each piece is individually affixed to the base plate. The later Victorian versions are less elaborate; the components were machine-stamped and typically have only five facets.

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  • Materials: steel "gems", brass baseplate
  • Age: c. 1830
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 2" in length, 1 3/4" width
  • Location: to see this piece in person, visit our shop in Nolita, NYC

 

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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.
less
more

About Details History
The early manufacture of cut-steel jewelry was painstaking work: each individual stud was faceted by hand and then riveted to a base plate made of silver or brass. The brilliant "gems" were intended for evening wear, as their adamantine luster was considered to be the most spectacular under candlelight. These jewels were in great demand for the last half of the eighteenth century and nearly all the way through the nineteenth. At the height of the fashion, a fine piece of cut-steel jewelry could command a higher price than gold. Georgian-era pieces, like this brooch, have as many as 15 hand-cut facets per stud, and each piece is individually affixed to the base plate. The later Victorian versions are less elaborate; the components were machine-stamped and typically have only five facets.

less
more

  • Materials: steel "gems", brass baseplate
  • Age: c. 1830
  • Condition: Very Good
  • Size: 2" in length, 1 3/4" width
  • Location: to see this piece in person, visit our shop in Nolita, NYC

 

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.
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more