This Art Nouveau medallion brooch depicts the beautiful Ophelia (spelled “Ophelie” in the French tradition), surrounded by cattails, willow branches and waterlilies, as symbols of watery grave in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Her hair is studded with small old mine cut diamonds. This design was created by the French jeweler and sculptor Emile-Séraphin Vernier (1852-1927) for the 1908 Exposition de la Parure Précieuse de la Femme in Paris. Like many other Art Nouveau medalists, Vernier licensed some of his designs to various manufacturing jewelers around the world. This example is American and is marked 14K. The brooch retains its original watch hook and pinstem/clasp.
NOTE: The brooch could easily be worn as a pendant with the addition of a folding bail to the back.
- Origin: America, ca. 1908.
- Condition: excellent; sharp detail; all original.
- Dimensions: 1” diameter.
- Weight: 7.4 grams.
- Approximate Total Diamond Weight: .10 carat.