Sunday, 25 March 2012

A carved hard stone orchid brooch by PALTSCHO

This exquisite brooch is closer to a work of art than to fine jewellery. A great example of what this blog is about: finding rare and unique pieces of jewellery worthy to be part of a fine arts collection.

The brooch is designed as an orchid using carved carnelian for the petals and carved hardstone for the calyx which is set with cabochon sapphires and diamonds. It was made by Paltscho in the 1950's in Vienna. Erwin Paltscho was the son of a jeweller and a recognised Austrian designer during the middle of the last century. He was a gifted craftsman as well as an vanguardist trendsetter for a new wave of art jewellery makers in Vienna. Erwin was provocative and daring and he reached his height producing beautiful flowers that he had designed during the 1930's and 1940's. Erwin was also known for his cleverly hidden clasps which were copied later by jewellers around the world. He has been an inspiration and seed of ideas to many great houses like Van Cleef and Arpels. Despite being unknown to most of the public, Erwin became sought after by Royal Houses who commissioned numerous pieces that can be admired in museums. Today, his drawings are still in private possession.

The brooch will be auctioned by Christie's Amsterdam on April 18th.