18th century aigrettes
Most charming pair of Georgian asymmetrical aigrettes in the Rococo manner, circa 1740 -1760, reflecting the mid-18th century taste for light and delicate bouquet ornaments in jewels. Such aigrettes in the Rococo style appear in books of engraved designs at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Originally made as hair ornaments, these aigrettes were converted to brooches in the 19th century. They are silver, set with rose-cut and table-cut diamonds in closed back settings and decorated with polychrome enamels. They were part of the Wellby Collection sold at Sothebys in December 2012. Wellby came from a London family of silversmiths and dealers and was an internationally acknowledged expert on Renaissance and Baroque silver and jewellery. Each aigrette is 1.5 inches in length and 3/4 of an inch wide. They work well as brooches and sit well on a lapel or collar. For similar in form, see Plate 5 in The Art of the Jeweller, A Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Bequest to the British Museum.