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Rare Art Nouveau insect brooches fly into limelight during house clearance

Posted on 20/01/2020 in Press Coverage

Insects may not be popular with everyone but most people make an exception when it comes to jewellery.

A set of four rare insect brooches have just been unearthed at one of our free jewellery valuation events. Made of pressed and stained horn, a material loved by Art Nouveau jewellery designers, they were discovered by our client tucked away in a small box while clearing a house.

The brooches, which date from the early 20th Century, take the form of two dragonflies, a bee and a winged insect, one of which bears the initials ‘GIP’, the signature of Parisian jeweller Georges Pierre.

Helen Smith, Hansons' head of jewellery, says Pierre’s designs often exploit the translucent and iridescent qualities of the organic material to great effect. He quickly grew to be one of the masters of Art Nouveau horn jewellery and items like this are much sought after.

The brooches are being offered in Hansons’ Decorative Art and Design auction in April with a combined estimate of £300-400.

Is that piece of jewellery is valuable?

We’re inviting entries for our monthly and Fine Art Jewellery Auctions. Helen Smith hosts jewellery and watch valuations every Monday and Friday, 10am-4pm, at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, DE65 6LS.Fellow jewellery expert Kate Bliss will be offering free jewellery valuations at Bishton Hall, Wolseley Bridge, Staffs, ST17 OXN, on Thursday January 23, 10am-3pm. No appointments necessary.