Superb antique Regency era Pinchbeck and paste brooch with a locket compartment back. Created as a sentimental or mourning piece intended to hold hair the locket back shows no evidence of having done so. Meticulously crafted by hand and superb quality this jewel is a testament to the skill of the metalsmiths and stonecutters of the Georgian period.
Pinchbeck, an alloy of copper and zinc, is an antique gold substitute, invented in the 18th century by Christopher Pinchbeck, a London clockmaker. It was a popular material for jewelry of the time
The brooch is Etruscan revival in design and features a superbly cut large 1 carat paste stone, that has all the fire and brilliance of a real diamond. An art form in its own right paste jewelry was held in very high regard by the Georgians and Victorians and this one is a particularly fine example. T
he locket box in the back of the brooch can be gently eased out revealing a deep recess in the back. The box has its glass cover and it still contains the original paper lining with old printed lettering. There are hand etched roman numerals around the rim of the box that would have denoted the locket size for the workshop.
The brooch features a sturdy pin back with a tube hinge and c clasp. It can be worn as a pendant because the pin stem is constructed with a bend in it next to the hinge which allows space for a ribbon or chain to be threaded behind and it will lay flat against the chest.
Circa 1800, condition is excellent, shows minimal signs of wear or age. Any dark marks are camera shadow. There is no deterioration or oxidation to the Pinchbeck metal and no shadows that would suggest foil loss behind the paste stone.
Weighs 5.5 grams and measures 1-5/8 by 1-3/8 inches.
This does not look like costume jewelry, we tested both the metal and stone to satisfy ourselves that it was costume and not fine jewelry!