A rare and truly magnificent pair of diamond-encrusted "wings" from the Victorian (ca1880) era! Crafted in sterling silver and 14kt gold, this convertible piece can be worn in two equally beautiful ways: as an elaborate brooch, or as a unique tiara. Each wing can be individually removed and attached as desired, thanks to a custom-made attachment that screws in on the back. Whether worn as a pin or a tiara, the wings are designed retain a slight degree of flexibility even when screwed into place, allowing them to "tremble" with light, fluttery movement when worn. An impressive ensemble of old Rose Cut, Mine Cut, and Cushion Cut diamonds line the surface of each wing, decorating the elongated rows of curvy, graduating feathers. The overall effect is positively breathtaking, as 4.00ctw of diamonds deliver a spectacular light-catching sparkle! All of the diamonds are bead set in a sterling "pavé" setting, with thin veins of silver separating small groupings of stones, accentuating the appearance of individual feathers throughout each wing.
When worn as a brooch, the wings screw into the front of a gold wire frame. The brooch features a long, hinged bar pin on the back, allowing it to fasten securely to a favorite garment. Alternatively, the wings can be screwed into the front of a gold wire circlet, which forms a delicate and feminine tiara. The wire tiara is open at the back, where a strand of elastic, fabric, or other closure can be attached if desired. There are two gold loops at each end of the wire, perfect for securely tying a closure in place. The gold wire remains flexible, and while durable, it is thin enough to tuck discreetly into a hairstyle, or pin into place.
Accompanying the two-piece set is the original antique box, which has custom-fitted spaces for the wire tiara circlet, the brooch frame, and both individual wings. A removable velvet pad rests inside the box, where the wings and brooch nestle securely in place. The velvet pad lifts out to reveal a circular cutout space for the tiara underneath. Stamped inside the lid of the box is "TO THE LATE QUEEN | J.W. BENSON LTD | 25 OLD BOND ST | LONDON."
This museum-quality piece is an unmistakable treasure, and is impressive in both its craftsmanship and its delicate beauty. It would make a one-of-a-kind addition to any serious antique jewelry collection!
Measurements: Each individual wing measures 2 1/8" long, 5/8" at the widest point, and about 1/8" thick. The gold brooch frame is approximately 2 1/2" wide. When the wings are worn as a brooch, the overall design measures approximately 3 5/8" across, from wing to wing. The gold wire tiara measures 4 1/4" across the widest point. The wing attachments rest 1" above the base of the tiara. The wire itself measures approximately 1mm thick.
Condition: The overall condition of the set is excellent. Besides normal surface wear, there is no apparent damage to either of the wings. All of the diamonds are intact and securely set. The screw-in mechanisms are all secure and in good working condition. The gold brooch frame is in good condition, and the pin clasp fastens securely. The gold wire tiara has a very slight "kink" at one side, which is scarcely noticeable, and not visible when the piece is worn. The box has normal signs of wear due to age, and the fabric covering the base is no longer intact. However, the box remains in otherwise good antique condition, with the original velvet pad intact, and a secure snap closure.