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This gold brooch in the shape of a winged basilisk impaled on a sword is set with seed pearls on the handle. The basilisk's eye is a round cabochon amethyst or garnet. The brooch has a hinged pin closure and chatelaine hook on the reverse. The brooch was in a retailer's marked box.
"Mementos: Jewelry of Life and Love from Historic New England": The Riker Brothers firm of Newark, New Jersey, produced many versions of these striking gold brooches. A mythical beast, the basilisk was half eagle, half snake. Curled around a sword studded with pearls, it made an imposing ornament.
Original to Codman House (Lincoln, Mass.),
Attributed to Riker Bros. (Manufacturer)
A. Stowell & Company, Inc. (Retailer)
Newark, New Jersey
1 1/4 x 1 3/8 x 3/8 (HxWxD) (inches)
Bequest of Dorothy S.F.M. Codman
"Hidden Treasures from Elegant Eras," Historic Jewelry from the Collections of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities presented by Shreve, Crump & Low, September 15 - November 30, 1995.
For a similar brooch also see "The Magazine Antiques" April 1997.
New Jersey (United States)
Newark (Essex county, New Jersey)