18 October 1999
AN ANTIQUE DIAMOND AND GEM-SET BROOCH, JAQUES & MARCUS
Jaques & Marcus
The old mine-cut diamond bar, suspending a line of graduated old mine and old European-cut multicolored sapphires, and a demantoid and hessonite garnet mounted in gold, circa 1885
Signed Jaques & Marcus
Founded in New York City in the early 1880's, George B. Jaques and William E. Marcus, son of Herman Marcus, urged Americans to seek out "daring and original" gemstones by publishing a book entitled, Something About Neglected Gemstones in 1882. "It seems strange", they reflected, "that people have been content with a colorless stone, while beautiful gems that have colors of wonderful richness and purity have been comparatively neglected. By use of color the work of the jeweler is raised to a fine art." (Martha Gandy Fales, Jewelry in America: 1600-1900, p.422)
Herman Marcus left Tiffany & Co. to join his son's firm and in 1892, the Marcus' bought out Jaques, forming Marcus & Co.
This brooch is a fine example of their experimentation with less conventional gemstones, giving depth and individuality to American jewelry.
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