This is an absolutely outstanding period piece of genuine period suffragette jewellery, which could easily be in a museum.
The detailed craftsmanship and the value of the material that went into making this piece are simply awesome. It is also outstanding because of its sheer substance, weighing almost 12 grams, which sets it streets apart from its contemporary, lightweight, gold wire based pieces.
The brooch is made of gold with a silver overlay on the front, into which the suffragette colour-coded stones are set: a large green peridot, two violet amethysts and three white baroque pearls. In addition there is a central diamond, which would count as yet another white stone, plus 45 further small 1.25mm faceted diamonds, which are distributed all over the entire surface of the brooch.
The oval peridot is 1cm long and 6mm wide, the central diamond and the two amethysts are just over 3mm in diameter each, and the entire brooch is 4.3cm wide, 4cm high and 3mm thick.
The design dates very much from the Art Nouveau period with its bold curves and flowing lines. The brooch shows a multitude of detail, such as marcasite-type decorations, little dots along the silver edges, and an extra peridot ring above the central pearl.
There is no hallmark on this piece, only the maker’s stamp of SBD, which I have been unable to trace. We have tested the gold with the 14 carat acid and found it to be 14 carat or better, but it does not stand up to an 18 carat test. It is very likely of 15 carat gold, which was a common standard of the time.
It weighs 11.98 grams and is in excellent condition with just a little wear to the exposed edges of the peridot.
It is simply a unique and remarkable piece of exquisite beauty and historic significance, which would have been commissioned by/or for a lady of some substance.