The Metropolitan Opera house opened with a performance of 'Faust' on October 22, 1883 on Broadway in New York City. The opera house had been formed and built by the likes of the Vanderbilts, the Roosevelts and the Astors as a response to being shut out of the Academy of Music due to their new-money status. On opening night, and every night for years to come, the private boxes at the Met became known as the Diamond Horseshoe as the radiance of the stunning diamond jewels of the patrons lit up under the gaslights and the massive chandelier. This diamond brooch would have felt completely at home. Likely it would have been worn as only one of a collection of diamond brooches pinned to a fur or dress. A singular part of the Diamond Horseshoe.
This brooch is handcrafted in 18 karat gold with over 3 carats in diamonds. The stones are Old European cut diamonds, the largest three stones in the brooch are .8 carats, and .47 carats and .58 carats, there are a total of 14 old cuts that together weighs approximately 3.15 carats in total weight. This fantastic piece is exceptionally sparkly and lively, the diamonds flashing with your every move. This piece has no hallmarks that I can see, I purchased it in New York, and I think it is probably an American Art Nouveau era piece, likely made around 1890-1900. It measures 56.7 mm from end to end and 16.6 mm high and weighs 11.8 grams. Acid tested to verify the metal content.
This stunning and versatile brooch is ready for it's re-introduction to the world. Maybe you'll take it to the Met?
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