Portuguese topaz chrysanthemum
A ray of 18th century Portuguese sunshine, circa 1780. A Portuguese stylised chrysanthemum brooch/pendant with a circular cut rock crystal to centre from which radiate two layers of calibre-cut golden topaz petals, close set in silver. The close setting and foiling enabled light to draw the maximum refraction, colour and fire from the gemstones. It glimmers in the sunshine and would have dazzled by flickering candlelight. The piece measures 1 and 2/3 inches by and 1 and 2/3 inches and can be worn as a brooch or a pendant. For identical see Plate 43 in Scarisbrick’s Jewels of Portugal.