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Large gilt enamelled brooch. Brooch with a two piece design each side with gold and green flower pattern and in the of each side a crested bird on a branch of pastes. This brooch has a sash-clasp and polished onyx leaf-shaped plaques with gold flower heads in a green enamelled border and inset with exotic birds and flowers of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires pave-set into gold collets. Such a jewel-set clasp would have been owned by a Sultana or the wife of a very high-ranking official, such as the Grand Vizier. The women of the Hareem vied with one another in the splendour of their jewels, seeing this as a measure of their value to their husbands. The workmanship is very fine, the type of stone-setting into a hardstone background being characteristic of French jewellers in the 19th century. But the origin of this technique is Mughal and the tradition of executing such work may well have survived at the Ottoman court.
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