Designed to be worn during the first stages of the mourning period, crape stone saw a brief rise in popularity in the latter half of the 19th century.
This unique "stone" was developed in 1884 by the Fowler Brothers of Providence, RI, using a technique to mimic the dull, rippled folds of black crape fabric, which was commonly worn throughout the grieving process.
To achieve this distinct appearance, skilled artisans would take onyx colored glass and rough up the top layer with an acid solution and then color the piece to obtain the lusterless black fabric-like resemblance.
In an effort to make the jewelry appear more traditional -- and to appeal to Americans with "Victoria fever," the Fowler Brother's decided to add the word "English" to the name and thus English crape stone was born.
This dusky brooch is one of the most ornate pieces of English crape stone we have ever seen. It is backed in a solid rose gold filled setting and the pin back fastens with a C catch.
There is a small loop on the back near the bottom of the brooch where a dangle of some sort may have originally been. This beautiful piece stands alone as it is, but you could also add your own locket or charm if you so desire.
Date: 1880s Materials: English crape stone, rose gold filled metal Measurements: 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" Markings: None Condition: Very Good
Metal has surface scratches and patina consistent with age and wear. The original drop is missing. The tip is chipped off of the bottom right teardrop shaped stone, which was a common problem with this material.