When Italian archeologist Alessandro Francois discovered an ancient Etruscan tomb in Italy in 1857, he introduced the world to a wonderment of magnificent gold work the likes which had not been seen since the 4th century BCE.
Though not much is known about this ancient civilization, the treasures unearthed by Francois forever changed the world of jewelry.
Images of intricately wrought ancient golden jewelry with delicate filigree work and colorful gems captivated the imagination of Victorians and energized many nineteenth-century jewelers to create their own inspired pieces.
Skilled jewelry artisans began incorporating 2,000-year-old Etruscan techniques such as granulation, filigree and scrolled wire work and repoussé into their designs -- and with that, the Etruscan Revival period was born.
While all of the pieces of this exquisite brooch were made during the Etruscan revival period of the 1870s, they were all joined together to create this one-of-a-kind brooch at a later date.
However, it is still a wonderful example of the ancient civilization's influence on jewelry of the era.
Crafted in a medley of 10k, 14k and 18k gold, this jaw-dropping piece features layer upon layer of heavily detailed handiwork.
The top portion of this brooch is made of intricately detailed 14k gold encompassing four stunning oval cabochon garnets.
The inverted tear shaped drop below it is crafted in 18k gold and also features a beautiful oval cabochon garnet.
The fringed dangle is 14k gold and features iconic Etruscan gold ball granulation and a round cabochon garnet.
The bar pin and clasp is cast in 10k gold.
Even though this is a married piece, it still exudes high Victorian Etruscan style and is definitely a showstopper.
Date: 1870s, Clasp is later
Materials: 10k, 14k, 18k, garnets
Measurements: 1 3/8" x 3"
Markings: None, gold content verified by a certified GIA gemologist
Condition: Very Good
From the front, this brooch is in excellent shape. It looks like there may have been some black enamel work on the top piece of the brooch that has all but washed away except for one tiny section between the left two garnets. From the back, you can clearly see that the fringed dangle has had a bit of a wild life. The thin gold back has been dented, which has caused a small hole. When wearing the piece, no one would notice the damage, which is why we decided to sell it as-is rather than to risk ruining the piece with a repair.
Cleaning and Care
Clean gently with warm soap and water and a soft bristled brush. Dry thoroughly. Lightly polish with a jewelry polishing cloth, if needed.