A collectible piece of early Australian jewellery from the mid Victorian era, c1870! Delicately handmade in 18ct gold, this brooch was made by South Australia's most prominent 19th century jewellers Joachim Matthias Wendt, and later Wendts Jewellers. The brooch bears the makers mark placed near the back hinge "J.M.W." Like many 19th century goldsmiths, Joachim Matthias Wendt was an emigrant attracted to Australia after the news of Australia's goldrush. He established his jewellery firm in 1854 which continued to become one of the most productive firms throughout the late nineteenth century and beyond.
The openwork brooch features Australian flora. The delicate flora motifs are three-dimensional and have textured chased surfaces, all emulating real life leaves and flower native to Australia. The beautiful naturalism work was distinct to early Australia jewellery post 1860, and the gold used to craft these striking pieces were from Australia's first discovered goldfields. The brooch design is finished with a textured oval border. To the reverse is a metal pin, c-clasp and a gold safety chain/pin which attaches to the top tendril loop. Tests to the brooch indicate 18ct to 20ct gold.
Note* The brooch has been repaired at some stage over the years- left side leaf is a replacement. All other flora motifs and components to the brooch are in excellent condition.
There is a similar J M Wendt brooch design in the Australian Jewellers book by Cavil/Cocks/Grace, page 4.
A rare piece of early Australian jewellery by South Australia's most enduring 19th & 20th century jewellers!