Diamond & Black Onyx Antique Brooch Set in Silver
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Dating from the 1870s, this is an archetypal example of the sort of brooch Victorian ladies wore during the day. It consists of 44 old-cut diamonds surrounding a rectangular carved-cut piece of black onyx with four smaller rectangular pieces of black onyx intersecting the four ends of what appears to be a rectangle but is actually an elongated octagon. The diamonds and black onyx are linked by a series of elaborately wrought, curlicued black enamel canals. It is set in silver.
"I have had this brooch for many years and I never cease to be amazed by how utterly contemporary it looks when you wear it with the latest fashions. Because it was made at a time when ladies shied away from ostentation, it can be worn day or night. Over the years, I have been photographed in it endlessly, and have also often worn it on book tours and on television. It is a genuine classic, the sort of item every woman needs," Lady Colin Campbell says.
A brooch of this calibre made today with the same quantity of stones of a similar size and quality, and rendered in a similar manner in 18 carat white gold, would start at £19,000.
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From Lady Colin Campbell in Association with Haute Joaillerie