A beautiful and genuine historical piece, this brooch has a hand-painted image, “en grissent” , of Cupid, the Roman god of love, offering a dove to his partner, Psyche, goddess of the soul. This French brooch holds the intricately-painted scene within a bordered rose-gold bezel setting, with a silver backing, surrounded by paste stones, in faceted pear and round shapes. The paste stones, were they diamonds, would total to approximately 12 carats in total weight, and are set in silver. The back of the brooch has what appears to be a later-added reinforcement in a gold-tone base metal (possibly brass), with a pin and closure on top, for fastening the brooch. This beautiful piece is a wonderful example of French historical jewelry craftsmanship, and is an outstanding potential addition to any collection.
Materials and Features:
Hand-painted grayscale scene: Cupid offering a dove (a symbol of affection) to his wife, Psyche
Rosecut pear and round paste gemstones
Paste stones have been a widely-used alternative to diamonds for centuries, going back to the mid-1700s.
Silver settings and base
Gold-tone base metal backing (possibly brass)
Weight: 36.20 g
6.0 x 4.0 cm
Condition: Generally excellent, with some modified features. The gold-tone base metal “border” backing does not seem to be gold, and in fact may be brass, or some other similar alloy metal. Close inspection suggests that this alloy reinforcement was a later addition to the brooch, with the original piece simply bearing the silver backing and setting to the stones, with a rose gold bezel for the painting, and the gold pin and closure. The alloy backing has solder marks where the pin and closure have been attached, suggesting that the original pin was removed, and then re-attached once the reinforcement had been added. With pieces that are as old as this one, it is not atypical to have modifications done to them.
The painted scene has held up beautifully over the years, with that lovely grayscale aesthetic, held behind a sturdy glass pane, and backed by silver. All of the paste stones are present, and sturdily-set in silver, with the alloy metal reinforcement backing. The pin closure is slightly loose on its hinge.
Overall, this piece is a beautiful example of French jewelry craftsmanship, and is the perfect addition to any historical jewelry collection.