Pinchbeck jewelry is particularly collectible because this alloy stopped being made around the 1870s (for more on Pinchbeck scroll down). This rather large mourning brooch was probably made circa 1850.
It features an Italian shell Madonna cameo, ornate leaf motif in Pinchbeck, a glass backing which encloses a strand of golden hair held together with what look to be seed pearls, and a C-clasp. The hair compartment is typical of the mourning jewelry of the Victorian Era which often featured this type of sealed glass compartment in which to preserve a photo of, or hair sample from, a departed loved one. Brooch is in very good condition commensurate with age (scroll down for more on wear to be expected in vintage/antique jewelry). Clasp is a bit loose but still works. Brooch measures approximately 2.5" x 2.1" (6.4 x 5.3 cm) and weighs approximately 28 grams.
MORE ON PINCHBECK: Pinchbeck is a form of brass, an alloy of copper and zinc, mixed in proportions so that it closely resembles gold in appearance. It was invented in the 18th century by Christopher Pinchbeck, a London clockmaker.The inventor allegedly made pinchbeck jewellery clearly labelled as such. Pinchbeck jewellery was used in places like stagecoaches where there was a risk of theft. Later dishonest jewellers passed pinchbeck off as gold; over the years it came to mean a cheap and tawdry imitation of gold. NORMAL WEAR on VINTAGE and ANTIQUE ITEMS: Please keep in mind that any vintage and/or antique merchandise may have some degree of visible wear or patina. This is considered quite normal and can be a part of the overall appeal and charm. I do my best to mention any specific condition issues. All items are described to the best of my knowledge.
The item "Antique Victorian Pinchbeck Mourning Pin/ Brooch Carved Shell Cameo, Hair Locket" is in sale since Wednesday, May 13, 2020. This item is in the category "Jewelry & Watches\Vintage & Antique Jewelry\Fine\Victorian, Edwardian 1837-1910\Cameos". The seller is "the-blue-billie" and is located in Port Orchard, Washington.This item can be shipped worldwide.