Astronomical Motifs

Astronomically influenced motifs in jewelry have been popular since the Georgian era. The revolution in science and astronomy during the 19th century in particular created a fashion for stars, star-bursts and crescent moon motifs that continue to be worn to this day.

Crescent Moons

The crescent moon became an especially popular brooch motif in the late Victorian era.  Crescent moon brooches were often set with diamonds but could be set with paste, garnets or other gems.  In that era, there was an explosion of novelty and whimsical new designs and crescent moons could also be topped with a a wide variety of other motifs. The term  ‘Honeymoon Brooch’ normally  refers to a brooch with a crescent moon and a bee motif but it has also come to refer to any brooch with a crescent moon topped with another motif.

Brooch

The simple crescent moon was a popular motif in the late Victorian era
England, c. 1890
Gold set with diamonds
V&A Museum

A Victorian diamond bird brooch

Diamond Victorian brooch
Christie’s Sale 5890

A late Victorian diamond brooch

A late Victorian diamond brooch
Christie’s Sale 5891

A victorian diamond brooch

Victorian Diamond Brooch
Christie’s Sale 5894

Stars and star bursts

Brooch

England, 19th century
Pique brooches
V&A Museum

Brooch

England, late 19th century, Brooch, gold, moonstones, silver

V&A Museum

AN ANTIQUE DIAMOND PENDANT

19th century diamond pendant
Christie’s 3026

AN EARLY 20TH CENTURY NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND BROOCH, BY CARTIER

AN EARLY 20TH CENTURY NATURAL PEARL AND DIAMOND BROOCH, BY CARTIER
Christie’s Sale 5968

A mid 19th century diamond bracelet/brooch/pendant

A mid 19th century diamond bracelet/brooch/pendant
Christie’s Sale 7463

A late 19th century diamond star brooch

A late 19th century diamond star brooch
Christie’s Sale 7463

A late 19th century ruby, diamond, pearl and enamel pendant

A late 19th century ruby, diamond, pearl and enamel pendant
Christie’s Sale 6423

Sources / further reading:

http://books.google.de/books?id=WVUSj7-ldtMC&pg=PA44&lpg=PA44&dq=the+honeymoon+brooch&source=bl&ots=XsrQjCObaV&sig=8Z02tYXkL6mQIFBQATm5WwmGOKk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dktIUcnsA8TZtAa-iYCQAg&ved=0CFEQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=the%20honeymoon%20brooch&f=false

http://www.langantiques.com/university/index.php/Aesthetic_Period_1885-1901

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