What an extraordinary little character, a cheeky monkey from the House of Mellerio, circa 1900. A whimsical, finely detailed agate carving of a monkey dressed as a court jester. He has rose-cut diamond eyes and bears his sharp little teeth. The brooch is signed to reverse : Mellerio R. Paix 9. Mellerio dits Meller, a French jewellery house founded in 1613, is still active today. It claims to be the oldest family jewellery company in Europe. The Maison’s atelier of master jewellers and silversmiths can be found above its Rue de la Paix boutique, where the workshop has remained since first opening in 1815. Renowned for quality craftsmanship and patronised by royalty for its extravagant jewels, Mellerio’s designers were also creatively innovative, their sense of whimsy evident in quirky and amusing pieces like this little monkey. The brooch measures 1 and 1/4 inches by 3/4 of an inch. Realistically modelled with the superior carving one would expect from Mellerio.