A fine early French Art Nouveau orchid brooch, the flower petals carved from banded agate around old mine cut diamond stamens, all set atop an elegant gold stem set with rose cut diamonds. The flower is a single piece of agate, finished with a matte surface to suggest the texture of a real flower petals. The carver left streaks of a darker colored agate on the back to create the delicately-colored veining that shows through the petals. The petal at lower left is turned back on itself to enhance the realistic effect. The reverse is stamped with a "tete de Mercure" hallmark indicating 18K gold that was intended to be sold abroad. There is also an illegible master goldsmith's mark.
• Origin: France, ca. 1880
• Condition: excellent; all original; a few tiny fleabites on one petal visible only with 10X magnification
• Dimensions: 2-5/8" x 1-1/4"Weight: 10.25 grams
• Approximate Total Diamond Weight: .85 carat.
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