1830s Georgian 15k Cannetille Foiled Aquamarine Brooch

An ethereal and gorgeous c. 1830-40s late Georgian – Victorian 15k gold brooch set with five large natural aquamarines weighing approximately 25.5 carats total. Per common practice for this period, the gemstones have been foiled with silver for extra brilliance and fire; under natural outdoor lighting, the aquamarines glow with stunning vibrancy.

The 1830-40s was a transitional period in English jewelry making, as jewelers began to adopt more ornate and feminine styles to celebrate the ascension of young, pretty Queen Victoria in place of four generations of Hanoverian Georges. Greater availability of gold—thanks to the discovery of new mines in Australia and California—also gave jewelers the means and material to experiment with new designs that highlighted gold in an ornamental role. The fanciful goldsmithing style exemplified by this brooch, with its chased features, filigree work, and granulated beading, can be categorized as “cannetille” work, a labor-consuming craft style popular during the 1830-40s that imitates the look of Portuguese embroidery.

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