Antique early 20th century silver and paste lizard salamander brooch


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A fine antique early 20th century paste lizard or salamander brooch, artfully and expertly handcrafted in silver (925), partly gilt, workmanship c. 1900, in a fitted case, with the cutest lizard footprint, inscribed Goldsmiths & Jewellers J. W & R. Bravington, N. W. Small, figural fauna were a frequent theme of late 19th century jewelry. salamanders were thought to guard its wearer and symbolize immortality, rebirth, passion, and the ability to withstand flames.

In the 18th and 19th paste jewelry was all the rage.

Paste is hand-cut leaded glass that has been polished with metal powder until it shimmers like a gemstone. Hugely popular in the Georgian era as a cheaper alternative substitute for the color and brilliance of precious gemstones. Paste jewelry continues to be much sought after today. The skill and time it took so that each paste “gemstone” carved by hand and graduated to fit the contours of the lizard’s back is a testament of its importance and demand. Backed by a sliver of either colorless or colored foil placed inside the mounting to add depth, brilliance and shine to clear glass and to intensify the hue of colored glass. This practice so improved appearance that in candlelight it was nearly impossible to tell the difference between a creation made of precious material and one made of paste.

This naturalistic creature looks just stunning worn on a lapel. The size and stands of this confident piece had us fall for it at first sight.

Measures: 11cm x 4cm

Weight: 46.2gram