Brooch, ca. 1900
Marcus & Company (American, 1892–ca. 1962)
Gold, peridot, diamonds, pearls, enamel; Overall 2 9/16 x 1 1/16 in. (6.5 x 2.7 cm)
Purchase, Susan and Jon Rotenstreich Gift, 2001 (2001.238)
The New York firm of Marcus & Company, founded in 1892, was one of the most highly regarded American jewelers of its day and received praise from the nineteenth-century French jeweler and historian Henri Vever. The company's founder, Herman Marcus (died 1899), was respected both for his superb artistry and for his business acumen. Beautiful design and masterful execution characterize jewelry produced by Marcus & Company, and this gold and enamel brooch is no exception. Fashioned in the Renaissance Revival taste, it is set with a large faceted peridot as well as with pearls and diamonds. Colored stones became especially popular in America during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, paralleling the enthusiasm for diamonds. The finely chased gold mount is as finished on the reverse as it is on the front. The pin fastener is removable so that the brooch could be worn as a pendant.