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English Victorian Turquoise Star and Crescent Moon Great Comet Brooch


Retailed by Collingwood & Co., this star, crescent moon and comet tail brooch in turquoise and diamonds dates from the 1880s. The crescent moon centers a 7-pointed star radiating a comet tail with five streaks, set throughout with calibré-cut sugarloaf and round cabochon turquoise and rose-cut diamonds. Both the spray and the star are detachable from each other and from the crescent moon. Wear this versatile brooch sparkling with old diamonds and gorgeous “Persian-blue” turquoise pinned to an updo for a festive occasion, or in any of its multiple variations, day or night.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: BO-20112
Artist: Collingwood & Co.
Circa: 1880s
Country: England
Size: 3.50” length x 1.90” width 
Materials: 140 rose-cut diamonds (approximate total weight 3.65 carats/carat); 1 round cabochon and 48 calibré-cut and sugarloaf buff-top turquoise; 15K golden silver-topped 15K gold mount; with original fitted antique box.

Europeans of the Victorian era were delighted by the appearance of no less than five “Great Comets” that came into sight within the forty year period between 1843 and 1882; no wonder, then, that these celestial phenomena inspired one of the century’s most beloved jewelry forms. As these giant comets were all easily visible to the naked eye, both astronomers and amateurs recorded their appearances in the night sky with excitement, wonder, and a little apprehension. The night before his consequential debate with Stephen Douglas in 1858, Abraham Lincoln stayed up late contemplating the celebrated Donati Comet, which appeared, like this jewel, like a bright star trailing arced streaks of light. Soon after, the Great Comet of 1861 was clearly seen for three months blazing across the night sky, delivering spectacular pyrotechnics, as the earth was positioned in its giant tail. Of the “sun-grazing” Super Comet of 1882, Her Majesty’s astronomer wrote that it was “a mass of golden glory…with a beauty I cannot describe.”