Wednesday, September 2, 2009

What's it?

I think it was Kelley who brought this to me the other day while cataloging Port Tobacco material with Anne. She asked me what it was. I had an immediate and authoritative answer: I do not know.

About an inch and a half long and stamped out of a copper alloy, this piece appears to be some sort of clasp or brooch. Figured on the obverse side (left in the image) is a woman's head in profile view. The style is unmistakeably Classical Revival.

There have been several revivals of classical motifs in Western history...the mid- to late 18th century, 1820s through 1850s, and early 20th dating this piece on strictly stylistic grounds would be dodgy. The stamping technology, however, suggests a mid-19th-century vintage or later. Any comments or insights would be appreciated. We are unlikely to conduct our own detailed research into it for some time...we need to finish cataloging the remainder of the collection first.


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