Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"
Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"

BR537

Victorian 12k 5.11 CTW Lapis, Jet & Pearl Scarab Mourning Brooch Engraved "NM April 13, 1849"

Regular price$1,070.00
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Shipping calculated at checkout.
  • Unique find! Only 1 available.

  • Shopping pre-owned is choosing sustainable luxury
  • One-of-a-kind item exclusively curated for you
  • Ships with full insurance + signature confirmation
A quick note as you shop: orders are currently scheduled to ship out every 2-3 weeks. If you require your order sooner, please contact us to coordinate expedited services. Shipping options are presented at checkout.

General Information:

  • Total Carat Weight: 5.11 ctw, inclusive of all stones present
  • Precious Metal Weight: About 2.5 dwt
  • Precious Metal Material:  The primary backing of this brooch (on which the hand-engraved obituary is found) tests on our shop equipment as 51.5% gold purity, placing it at 12k yellow gold, while the open c-clasp tests as 40.8% purity which is 10k yellow gold. The stem pin tests as base metal, which is typical for the era, as it is the most handled and base metal is more durable (less malleable) than gold. The face's pinched collet settings are presumed to be 10-12k yellow gold in kind.
  • Dimensions:  This brooch measures a perfectly petite 21.37 east to west (length) x 18.86 north to south (width) x 11.85 back to front (depth).
  • Weight:  A very impressive 4.10 grams
  • Markings:  The reverse of this brooch reads as follows:
N.M.
Obt. April 13, 1849
Æ 47 yrs
This hand-engraved inscription indicates that this pin memorializes the earthly passing of the honored whose initials were "N.M", who died on April 13, 1849 at the age of 47 years. There is not a maker's mark, assay mark or date mark, and no purity mark exists. This item has been tested to verify its purity in the absence of such karat stamps.
  • Era: Believed to be something of an amalgamation of several eras, but dated for the late 1840s
  • Buyer Notes: This petite brooch is an exciting find in its rare peculiarities. While its precise story is unknown, its beauty is very desirable and very collectible.

Specifications:

  • Center Stone Type: Lapis Lazuli
  • Center Stone Count: One (1)
  • Center Stone Carat Weight: Calculated per the specific gravity of lapis lazuli and using the dimensions above, this stone weighs between 3.22 and 4.04 carats, concluding an average estimate of 3.63 ct.
  • Center Stone Dimensions:  Professionally estimated 12.50 x 9.90 x 3.95 mm, measured within setting as far as mounting permits so as to preserve the integrity of the piece.
  • Center Stone Shape:  Hand carved tablet/cabochon exhibiting an Egyptian Revival scarab motif
  • Center Stone Color & Clarity: Earthy, subdued cobalt blue with very subtle twinkling gold specks; some bluish-milky swirls are present throughout 
    • Side Stone Type: Cultured Pearl
    • Side Stone Count: Twenty (20)
    • Side Stone Carat Weight: Professionally estimated 1.06 ctw; 0.053 ct ea.
    • Side Stone Dimensions:  Professionally estimated 2.55 x 2.15 x 1.30 mm, measured within setting as far as mounting permits so as to preserve the integrity of the piece.
    • Side Stone Shape: Ovular (oval shaped)
    • Side Stone Color & Clarity:  White to cream with good orient and luster
    • Side Stone Type: French Jet (a kind of glass); there is a chance that this black stone is actually carved onyx gemstone, but has been assessed as glass as a conservative evaluation. If onyx, its value is inherently greater.
    • Side Stone Count:  Twenty (20)
    • Side Stone Carat Weight: Professionally estimated 0.42 ctw; 0.021 ct ea.
    • Side Stone Dimensions: Professionally estimated 1.55 x 1.50 x 0.90 mm, measured within setting as far as mounting permits so as to preserve the integrity of the piece.
    • Side Stone Shape: Round Faceted (most with high crowns much like those found within hand-cut Old European Cut diamonds)
    • Side Stone Color & Clarity:  Polished, reflective opaque black in the manner of natural onyx gemstone; some nibbles present here and there, though none affect their glimmer and impact.

    The Story:

    This brooch is a wearable time capsule representing a very interesting intersection of socio-cultural trends in both mourning traditions and aristocratic practices. This brooch dates to the earliest years of the Victorian period, with an inscription dated 1849, which was 12 years into the Victorian era, specifically, landing within the Romantic Period which was the first phase of the era, between 1837 and 1860. However, without knowing an exact provenance, we cannot ascertain a more precise date range beyond what our years of collecting, dealing, learning and refining our expertise enable us to determine.

    The central carved scarab lapis is very likely a souvenir from Egypt obtained while the buyer was on holiday in the country while on an extension of the Grand Tour. Among other world events, when the Suez Canal was completed in 1869, an overwhelming revived interest in both Ancient civilizations and Middle Eastern cultures swept through Europe and America, initiating the Etruscan and Archeological Revival Styles in the built environments, decorative arts, and in high fashion.

    This scarab is believed to either be an ancient carving boldly collected by a traveller while on the Grand Tour, or a carved souvenir purchased directly from an artisan by an socialite on the Grand Tour during the late Georgian or early Victorian years. Either way, it certainly served as a deeply symbolic connection to their travels and learned experiences, as it was selected for use in a mourning jewel after the honoree's passing.

    The rich symbolism of the scarab is manifold and spans millennia, but most simply, it represents the cyclic progression of life and rebirth. In this sense, it is resoundingly appropriate for use in such a sentimental commemoration. Pearls have long signified the fallen tears which commence in grief over the loss of a loved one, while French jet (a special kind of glass) is associated with the three primary phases of mourning, most specifically the last/Ordinary phase which was introduced approximately 21 months after the death of the loved one.

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