Maker: Marcus and Co. (American, New York, 1892–1942)

Date: ca. 1900

Geography: Made in New York, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Gold, peridot, diamonds, pearls, and enamel

Dimensions: 1 1/16 x 2 9/16 in. (2.7 x 6.5 cm)

Classification: Jewelry

Credit Line: Purchase, Susan and Jon Rotenstreich Gift, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.238


Late nineteenth-century American jewelers incorporated a variety of colored stones into their designs. Sapphires from mines in Montana were much admired, as were other native gems, such as tourmalines, aquamarines, garnets, and peridots. A large, cushion-shaped peridot appears at the center of this gold brooch, accompanied by diamonds, pearls, and green enamel. This beautifully crafted piece reflects the Renaissance Revival style that became fashionable towards the end of the nineteenth century. It bears the mark of Marcus & Company, an outstanding New York firm established in 1892 by the Dresden-trained jeweler Herman Marcus (1828–1899). The brooch can be adapted for use as a pendant by removing the pin fastener and threading a chain through the scrolled hook on the back.