This pretty German antique silver brooch features an openwork design of a butterfly and flowers with curls swirling in from a smooth polished rim. It’s simplicity, natural motifs and hand-tooled details (stamping, cross-hatching and engraving) are very much in the “aesthetic” style of 1880-1890, with softer elements like the curls and smooth polished rim hinting at later Art Nouveau.
The brooch is actually domed which adds a great deal to the look and sense that this is a quality brooch. It is quite thick – a generous millimetre – and weighs 12 grams (0.42 oz). It is 1 5/8″ (4.2 cm) in diameter and fitted with a late-1800s tube hinge and c-clasp – there is a generous curl in the c-clasp and the pin stem is raised high from the hinge.
The reverse is marked “835” (a German silver purity) and “G.” I have not been able to find a maker with this mark. If not a maker, it may be the town mark (used until 1886) for Geislingen where WMF was based (the diamond-shape WMF marks also have “G.” or “G” at the bottom).
It is in very good to excellent antique condition with only a slight nick on the bottom-left inner edge of the rim that I think was a slip of the maker’s tool rather than damage but otherwise no more than light surface scratching consistent with age. The pin is sharp with good tension to keep it securely in the c-clasp.