An early (1890 – 1900) Jugendstil silver and amethyst brooch by Gustav Hauber of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.
It has a rich openwork design featuring scrolls, a fruit basket and shield, with two cherubs flanking a large polished natural amethyst. The amethyst is held by a smooth-polished band of silver and has a wonderful colour ranging from purple to lavender, with attractive crackle-like striations and some parts more transparent than others.
The openwork setting is not flat but angles gently down from the amethyst giving the brooch a slightly domed shape. The amethyst and brooch edge are both trimmed with beading. The back of the brooch is nicely finished too, with hand-tooled details around the back of the amethyst and elsewhere. The brooch is fitted with a short tube hinge and c-clasp – a high quality brooch, substantial with fine workmanship.
5.5 cm (2 1/8″) wide by 4 cm (just under 1 5/8″) high.
It is stamped “800” (for the German silver standard of 800/1000) with the Gustav Hauber maker’s mark.
Very good antique condition.
The only issue is that the c-clasp is somewhat squashed down and skewed to the side, but it holds the pin quite securely. The amethyst is very good condition with fine natural fissures but no damage.
Gustav Hauber was established in 1870. The firm is still in business today, still in Schwäbisch Gmünd.
Schwäbisch Gmünd was one of four important jewellery production cities in Germany, the other three being Pforzheim, Hanau and and Idar-Oberstein.