A large 18th c Portuguese Rococo hair jewel, probably c. 1760-70, converted to a pendant and of a nice 46.5 mm diameter, bearing a multi-gem polychrome flowerhead design, with a large center of imperial topaz (approx 5.5 ct) framed by twelve petals, each set with garnet and quartz of varying triangular, trapezoidal, and square table cuts. Many of these floral hair jewels survive today in converted form, but as illustrated on p. 74 of “Five Centuries of Jewellery: National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon” by Leonor d’Orey, were originally mounted on hair pins with en tremblant springs. The French ambassador to Portugal, Marc Marie, Marquis de Bombelles (1744–1822), once observed that the “dark hair [of Portuguese women] was the most beautiful, the longest and thickest in Europe”. Elsewhere in Europe, head coverings such as caps and bonnets had become popular by the late 18th century, but this trend never fully caught on in Portugal, where the fashion favored uncovered hair, pinned with en tremblant hair jewels to the sides of the head. The visual function of such jewels relied on motion, scintillation, and color— to draw the eye and to enchant the viewer. Stones were foiled to refract light and enhance color or depth. Novel and exciting color palettes were made possible by rich yields from Brazillian mines in the Minas Gerais region, which provided jewelers with color quartzes, beryls, chrysoberyls, and topazes of varying hues. For similar examples of large flowerhead hair jewels with topaz and garnet polychrome design, see p. 70 of “A Joalharia em Portugal 1750-1825” by Gonçalo de Vasconcelos e Sousa, and p. 62 of “The SJ Phillips Collection of Jewels of Portugal” by Diana Scarisbrick.