Monday, February 2, 2015

Mastery of Design: A Silver Brooch Set with Pastes, 1740-1750

Silver and Pastes
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Grand brooches such as this one became all the more fashionable in the Eighteenth Century.  The development of the brilliant cut  brought about a revolution is jewelry design which focused on dense grouping of faceted stones which would catch the candlelight in alluring ways.

While precious stones always remained the basis for the most desirable jewels, the imitation jewelry industry also flourished during this period, providing more economical pieces set with paste stones (glass).  

Here we see such a piece of costume jewelry, made between 1740 and 1750 in Western Europe.  The silver, floral-themed brooch is set with deep orange pastes meant to imitate citrine.  Three large, pear-shaped drops offer a bit of drama to the piece.

The Victoria & Albert Museum

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