Victorian Sterling Pietra Dura Inlaid Stone Insect Motif Pin
Pietra Dura is an art-historical term for the technique of using small, exquisitely cut and fitted, highly-polished colored stones to create what amounts to a painting in stone. The stonework is assembled together so precisely that the contact between each section is practically invisible.
This highly artistic Victorian era pin (ca1880) is a wonderful representation of the Pietra Dura art form! Most likely of Italian descent, the pin features an insect motif comprised of multiple inlaid stones in varying natural colors. Each stone is precisely cut and then carefully fitted and inlaid into the surface. Included in the ensemble of stones are onyx, lapis lazuli, carnelian, malachite, and translucent quartz wings. The rich colors stand out dramatically against the ivory colored stone background, which is gently engraved at the surface to depict each bug's legs and antennae. The design is so seamless that it almost appears to be a fine painting. Surrounding the Pietra Dura design is a simple sterling bezel frame adorned with a sterling beadwork border. A secure pin clasp on the back of the piece allows it to be easily fastened to a favorite garment. A simply exquisite piece of art, this magnificent Pietra Dura brooch is quite unusual and would make a special addition to any Victorian collection!
Measurements: The brooch has a 1 1/8" diameter and measures 3/16" thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the brooch is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to the sterling setting or inlaid stones that form the Pietra Dura design. The pin clasp is secure and in good working condition. There is a natural darkened patina on the surface of the silver, which is normal for a Victorian era piece and adds depth to the design.