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Georgian Turquoise and Pearl Halley's Comet Brooch

$750.00
About Details History
Halley's comet has been observed for millennia, and usually it was thought to foretell doom. In the year 989, an Anglo-Saxon wrote: "...a comet, portending (they say) a change in governments, appeared, trailing its long flaming hair through the empty sky: concerning which there was a fine saying of a monk of our monastery called Æthelmær. Crouching in terror at the sight of the gleaming star, ‘You've come, have you?’, he said. ‘You've come, you source of tears to many mothers. It is long since I saw you; but as I see you now you are much more terrible, for I see you brandishing the downfall of my country.’" Roughly 1000 years later, in the same general area, this turquoise and pearl brooch was made to commemorate the 1835 passing of Halley's comet. People weren't afraid this time, because astronomers - namely, Edmond Halley - had scientific evidence that the comet was coming. People were pretty confident they were about to witness a meteorological event, not a sign from an angry God(dess.) Jewelers produced large numbers of comet pieces, like this one fashioned in 14k gold with turquoise and pearls, in celebration. 

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  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), turquoise cabochons, seed pearls
  • Age: c. 1835
  • Condition: Good - turquoise a the tail of the comet is cracked but secure
  • Size: 7/8"

 

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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
Halley's comet has been observed for millennia, and usually it was thought to foretell doom. In the year 989, an Anglo-Saxon wrote: "...a comet, portending (they say) a change in governments, appeared, trailing its long flaming hair through the empty sky: concerning which there was a fine saying of a monk of our monastery called Æthelmær. Crouching in terror at the sight of the gleaming star, ‘You've come, have you?’, he said. ‘You've come, you source of tears to many mothers. It is long since I saw you; but as I see you now you are much more terrible, for I see you brandishing the downfall of my country.’" Roughly 1000 years later, in the same general area, this turquoise and pearl brooch was made to commemorate the 1835 passing of Halley's comet. People weren't afraid this time, because astronomers - namely, Edmond Halley - had scientific evidence that the comet was coming. People were pretty confident they were about to witness a meteorological event, not a sign from an angry God(dess.) Jewelers produced large numbers of comet pieces, like this one fashioned in 14k gold with turquoise and pearls, in celebration. 

less
more

  • Materials: 14k gold (tests), turquoise cabochons, seed pearls
  • Age: c. 1835
  • Condition: Good - turquoise a the tail of the comet is cracked but secure
  • Size: 7/8"

 

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