Victorian Sterling Silver & French Paste Starburst Pin
French paste is a vintage jewelry term used to describe the practice of using faceted cut glass, cut in the shape of a real gemstone, instead of using gems. This process, which was developed in the 1700s, created the look of a sparkling gemstone or diamond but cost much less than real stones.
This sparkling French paste pin from the Victorian (ca1880) era is a real beauty! Crafted in sterling silver, the piece forms the shape of a striking 12-point starburst. Covering the surface are multiple French paste crystals, which rest in a closed back setting. The bright, sparkling crystals range in size, with the largest stones at the center, and the smaller stones lining each ray, creating a graduated effect. Each crystal is a faceted old Mine Cut, delivering a radiant sparkle that stands out dramatically within the antiqued silver setting, closely resembling diamonds! On the back of the piece is a secure bar pin and C-catch clasp, allowing it to fasten securely to a favorite garment. A wonderful example of "celestial" inspired jewelry from the Victorian era, it would make a spectacular addition to any collection!
Measurements: The starburst pin measures approximately 1 1/2" in diameter, and is approximately 1/4" at the thickest point.
Condition: The overall condition of the pendant is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the sterling silver setting. All of the French paste crystals are intact, securely set, and free of chips or scratches. The bar pin fastens securely on the back. There is a natural patina that gives the piece a darkened silver look, which is typical of a Victorian piece.