The Arts and Crafts movement in England began as a response to the Industrial Revolution and the mechanization of the decorative arts. It bloomed into one of the most enduring legacies of style to come out of the 19th and 20th centuries. Something about the return to hand crafting and the motifs of the natural world speaks to the very root of human nature.
This wonderful brooch was handcrafted in London around 1900-10, and was most likely done by Henry George Murphy. Anchored by a beautiful large opal gem, this brooch is framed in 15 karat gold with a scroll and foliate design. This rectangular brooch holds a large cabochon precious opal which measures 30 x 20 x 7 mm and weighs approximately 23 carats. Precious opals are known for their diffraction of light, called ‘play of color’, in which rainbow colors shine from inside the stone like a kaleidoscope of firelight. Overall, this piece measures 39.7 x 27.6 mm and it weighs 60.8 grams. It has been acid tested. This brooch comes in an antique box which reads, “Gieves 27 Old Bond Street London, W.I.”, most likely it’s not original to the brooch but it has kept it in good order over the years.
Henry George Murphy was part of the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and later went on to become a silversmith of some renown, working mostly in the Art Deco style.
For all occasions and even non-occasions. This brooch is sheer perfection, it gives off color no matter where you are.
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