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Deco Pan, French Silver, with Black & Colorless Paste Decoration

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Art Deco Jewelry48 of 414Antique jadeite earrings, gold and diamonds deco mount. KYRATISED.Bernard Instone Silver Opal Earrings
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (15 items)

    Cameos are my usual beat, but that means I also live in the realm of classical mythology. Naturally, when I saw the goat-footed woodland deity Pan, I felt he needed to come join his many other brothers and sisters who live with me.

    Marked with the boar's head of the Paris assay office and an unidentified maker's mark; probably 800 silver. The woolly parts of him, his lower body and the hair of his head, are encrusted with tiny colorless stones of glass or paste; the bells of his double flute are also highlighted. His horns, hooves & stylized wreath of ivy are accentuated in black. The triangular leaves are left uncovered on the back and may be inset glass. The hooves and horns were not left open to the light and may be applied glass paste.

    The pin is mounted vertically, with a trombone clasp. He is about 6cm/2 1/3 in. high. Heavily tarnished now (I think it suits him), otherwise in very good condition. Glare in photos makes it appear some of the black is missing from the horns and hooves. There is not, just a few very small chips on some exposed edges.

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    1. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 5 years ago
      Who couldn't fall in love with this!! Great!
    2. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      Thank you, PCC, & everyone who has loved him so far.
    3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
      WOW !!!!
    4. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      That even sounds nice backwards - thanks!
    5. racer4four racer4four, 5 years ago
      Ha, well said Vet and Cameosleuth!
    6. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Yep, wow! A charming brooch and lovely Pan, quite right in your mythological theme!

      No marcasites on him... those sparklies are paste or rhinestones, well set in the mount, not glued!
    7. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      Tango, tango! Thank you - you are absolutely right. Think I never looked with a loupe; silver beneath the stones has darkened, making them look silver-grey; eyes not the best; marcasites so common in silver from this period. There are my excuses.

      The stones are prong set, with the prongs sort of stubby, so they look like granulation. Since there is granulation in places, they blend in.

      Will emend the title/description, but what to call them? In good light they really sparkle Good paste? I cannot spot any indication they are foiled/backed in any way. Advice?
    8. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Thanks for the thanks, Cameosleuth :-))

      It seems the triangular ones are different, colored and open back...
      Can't say if the clear have silvered painted back, but it is probable!

      Anyway, I tend to call high quality, or eldest, "paste" and lower, newer, "rhinestones". But this is personnal, I can't find now a clear definition of the difference, nor consensus about the names.

      I'd call them paste ;-))
    9. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      So glad you have imposed rigor into this investigation by examining him much more carefully than I had. In doing my best with less than perfect eyes, going over him with a loupe & comparing the brooch to the pix, I now notice many things that escaped me before.

      First, the horns & hooves are in better condition than one would think from any of the photos; glare is making some places that still have their black look like exposed metal. He is in overall better condition than I represented, although there does appear to be some chipping at the edges.

      The nature of the black is mystifying me. It seems thick enough to be inset glass, yet, unlike the leaf/triangles, the shapes of the horns & hooves are not regular enough to lend themselves to pre-made pieces. They strike me as little pockets framed in metal that had to be filled in with liquid. Pate de verre?

      Also had not noted that, unlike all the rest of the piece, the black triangles are open-backed, as though to allow light through, except they do seem to be opaque. On the other hand, the horns & hooves are not open; there is a little bead of white metal soldered on behind each of those elements, although think this has been knocked off one horn.

      Hard to tell about the colorless stones. Most that look very dark are set in places where the metal is also heavily tarnished. Whether this is the case with some of the others...? Tried to decide whether the edges where the facets of the girdles meet the tables look sharp enough to indicate they had to be cut, as very good paste is, or are a bit round, as on molded glass stones. Couldn't quite decide.

      Came away from all this scrutiny wowed myself with the degree of detail & workmanship I had not fully appreciated. He was not cheap, but worth every penny. Thanks again for leading me to regard him more seriously. Now, for that title...? :)
    10. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      Oops - see you pointed out the open backs on the triangles. :)
    11. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Mmm... sometimes too I realise I missed some details after viewing enlarged pics ;-)

      For the hooves and horns, they may be lacquer (or a kind of), applied as champlevé enamel in silver grooves, I had an Art Deco brooch made like this.
      I don't know what for are the "bumps" on back of the hooves...

      Your title is very convenient!!!
    12. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Ah, and take a loupe to check if there isn't a boar's head mark on back, on the part between the hooves and the trombone clasp...
    13. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      The title reflects my ignorance.
      I spotted those 2 small depressions, praying for French marks. They are so tiny, could not get good resolution under 10x magnification, decided, in disappointment, that they were manufacturing flaws. Have pulled out a 30x loupe. They are definitely hallmarks. For all its deco appearance, the larger mark closer to the middle of the leg, looks most like the small silver guarantee mark for 1819-38 shown in this chart.
      In the photo it just looks like a dark smudge, but there is another mark, in a rectangular cartouche, at the very edge of the leg, all the way left, a little lower down than the other one. It is even smaller; appears to have several elements inside the box, one maybe a star? Assuming maker's mark.
      Now I have to change the description from 'unmarked' to something as vague as the new title. Thanks yet again for making me really look. :)
    14. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      Strike that - rotated the best photo I could get - boar's head. Makes much more sense. What grade of silver does it indicate?
    15. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Hum, the mark you think 1819/1838 (hare's head) isn't consistant with the Deco era of you Pan! I still stick to the boar's head if it is French... the other mark, if a maker's mark, isn't French, on silver or gold jewellery they are always in a lozenge shape :-)
      Perhaps another country...
      If you can take crisp close up of these, I can try to identify at least the hallmark.
    16. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      Crossed comments, I was writing while you found the boar :-)))
      Yepee!!! The boar's head is said to be for 800 and higher silver.
      I think french silver is rather usually 900
    17. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      And I was just writing another message that would have been out of synch again. Have made major revisions to whole listing, all your fault, all your credit. :)
    18. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      The marks are unbelievably small. My camera does supermacro, but my skills & lighting resources are very limited. Do have a photo editing program that let me see both marks better than with eye & loupe, still quite fuzzy.

      Since my rectangle must need to be oriented a different direction up from the way I was looking at it, maker's mark is a star under or over something else. If placed so it is above, looks a little like an anvil? Stars seem to figure in many French makers' marks. Went all through one resource looking for 'star'; without knowing what the other part is... If you can ID, I'm putting you up for any Show & Tell champion award CT has. :)
    19. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      Not an anvil. Did my utmost with my best photo, oriented with the star on top. Below the star is something with 3 distinct rays, points or knobs, attached to something that is just a blob to me. I do not see anything that looks like letters, so extremely tiny at that level, cannot be sure.
    20. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      Thank you, MsCrystal - he is indeed an imp. You can see some of the company he keeps here:
    21. lentilka11, 5 years ago
      You have superb pieces in your collection!
    22. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 5 years ago
      Thank you, lentilka. Thinking back, I realize I brought Pan home long before I became interested in cameos. He is the first in what is now a large collection of jewelry inspired by mythology. He simply demanded that I buy him. :)
    23. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 5 years ago
      The best of the best, superb !~
    24. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 4 years ago
      Hi, Ms.CrystalShip - If we're talking about the round one described as Creepy Devil Cameo Brooch, Devil with Woman And Child in the Garden, Silver and Celluloid Cameo Pin, it is a contemporary mass produced 'resin' cameo I have seen many times before. It appears to be Venus & a couple of cupids picking apples. Hope the interpretation given is a marketing ploy & not really how seller sees it!

      You can always find me on the Cameo Show & Tell board, under fine jewelry. :)
    25. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 3 years ago
      He looks rather like Vaslav Nijinsky in Afternoon of a Faun:
    26. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 3 years ago
      Hi Ms. Crystal - I don't check here regularly either, & e-mail where notifications come in gets cluttered with messages that do not require reading, so the occasional useful one can get lost. Faun was seriously scandalous in Nijinsky's day. Jerome Robbins used the music to make a ballet that is also very sensuous, but that would not have shocked the Ballets Russes.
    27. cameosleuth cameosleuth, 3 years ago
      He really is a delightful piece. Thanks for all the love; it's nice to have in this strange time. It feels like the gods are messing with us here in 2020.

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