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Divine, ethereal, a powerful manipulator of emotions and a stealer of souls, the harp has occupied a place in myth, legend and supernatural lore since it first came into being.
In the Victorian era, the harp was often seen as a seductive gateway to feminism -- allowing a young lady to put her dainty wrists and forearms on display while also flashing her ankles to gentlemen listeners.
But this whimsical stringed instrument isn't all devilish women and luring sailors to their demise, this heraldic symbol of Ireland also represents peace, beauty and tranquility.
This dark and delightful brooch is fashioned in gutta percha and features a beautiful sea maiden playing her enchanted harp on a rocky seashore. The image bears a striking resemblance to John Dickson Batten's 1892 illustration titled, "The Sea Maiden."
Gutta percha is derived from indigenous palaquium gutta trees of Southeast Asia. The sap extracted from the tree's leaves forms a type of latex, which was then molded to create jewelry, daguerreotype cases and other items.
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