Victorian Pietra Dura Brooch Pin with Musical Motif Guitar

An art form handed down from the Ancient Romans, Pietra Dura (literally 'hard rocks') is the art of carving a hard stone background and inlaying small cuts of semi-precious stone to form a perfectly smooth design. Like little paintings, these plaques were hand made by craftsman who were masters of the art. I often see flowers or animals done in pietra dura, but it is vary rare to find one like this, with a musical theme.

Pietra Dura, like micro-mosaics and cameos, were often brought back from Italy to England or other European countries as souvenirs of the 'Grand Tour'. Sometimes just the plaques were brought back and then mounted by a local jeweler, sometimes the jewelry was made in Italy and brought back whole. In this case, I’m certain that the frame was done in England as it is crafted in 15 karat gold (acid tested, not marked). Most likely made around 1860-1870, this wonderful quality piece shows a guitar along with sheet music and a ribbon of malachite. The brooch measures 33.2 mm north to south and 46 mm across and weighs 15.4 grams.

Everything about this piece is exceptional. The quality of the Pietra Dura is lovely, the little musical notes inscribed into the white marble, the detail of the strings on the guitar, the design is classical and flattering and will go with just about any outfit. This one is a guaranteed conversation starter!

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Item ID: BHA23086VA

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