The detail and imaginative design of this Coquilla Nut Carved Brooch is simply amazing. A dashing take on the cameo, it features the profile of a knight or soldier wearing his armored helmet. His visor is raised, so we see his handsome face, his eyes gazing off into the distance. Surrounding him are the plumes of feathers or long fronds of tropical plants. This beautiful brooch is deftly carved, and the warm, rich amber color contrasts with the intense countenance of the knight.
This fantastic brooch measures 45.9 mm top to bottom, 39.2 mm wide, and 19.7 mm in depth. It weighs 19.6 grams. The knight’s face is carved in relief, giving the brooch a wonderful dimension. Every aspect is exquisitely detailed, from the shingled plates of his armor, to the curling fronds grazing the knight’s helmet.
In the 19th Century, the coquilla nut, which is the fruit of the Brazilian palm, became a popular material for all sorts of functional or decorative items: ladies’ fans, umbrella handles, rosary beads, jewelry, even doorknobs! This is probably the most intricately detailed piece I’ve seen as a brooch: Absolutely one-of-a-kind.
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