Georgian Silver Brooch Depicting Cherub And Dove, Set With Marcasite
Described as follows:
Lovely sterling silver brooch designed as a filigree pattern of scrolls and bow motif, and finely set with marcasite. A central oval panel is set with crystal and has a rose gold bevel patterned with a zig-zag design.
The panel is painted with a watercolour of a cherub holding a dove. At his feet in gold is a Roman Temple or a Roman Urn.
The back houses a brooch clip typical of the period, and a safety chain.
Marcasite stones are actually made from iron pyrite, a natural mineral which is a hard stable material with a bright metallic lustre that can't be scratched easily. Confusingly there is a mineral called marcasite, but this has a softer structure that cracks and crumbles easily when worked. Perhaps it is this because of this confusion marcasite jewellery is a bit of a mystery to some and finds itself sandwiched uncomfortably between costume jewellery and precious
Marcasites have been used for jewellery since the time of the ancient Greeks but gained a more common use in the Georgian period of the 18th century when cut steel and marcasite were used as a diamond substitutes. Marcasite was a much better alternative as it had a brighter lustre and didn't rust like cut steel and like diamonds twinkled beautifully in the soft glow of candlelight.
The clasp looks original or near original - the safety chain I suspect is a later addition, maybe Victorian? Adding one doesn't really alter anything, and makes it safer to wear, so hey!
And the seller's pics: