This is an unusual and rare antique gilded silver griffin brooch by William B. Kerr, better known for floral and maiden designs.
The griffin was a popular late-Victorian motif, suggesting this is an early (1880-1890) Kerr brooch.
The detailing is wonderful – textural and intricate – from the horned back to the tiny scales on the griffin’s curling tail, and gnarly talons. As you can see, the brooch has not been cleaned for some time but despite this, the raised areas have remained bright and gold – evidently gilded. The brooch is fitted with a simple hinge, c-clasp and extended pin stem typical of the period.
The brooch is quite small – 2.5 cm (1″) wide and 3.5 cm (1 3/8″) high – a typical size for the period.
A cartouche on the reverse is stamped with the William B. Kerr maker’s mark of an axe with cross-marked handle, “STERLING” and the design number “162“.
Excellent antique condition with heavy tarnish but no damage of any kind.
The pin stem rises up to about a 45 degree angle only – presumably made this way – and remains secure in the c-clasp.