This is a wonderful vintage 1930s Art Deco brooch of a French poodle dog, full of personality and charm. The brooch is made of sterling silver covered over in a black, slightly glossy enamel with raised curls of silver showing through.
The detailing is just wonderful, including a scalloped little tail, bushy protruding whiskers beneath big nostrils, a sparkling “ruby” eye and “jewel-set” collar. The collar, bushy head, floppy ear and face are accented with almost pave (very close set) marcasites. He has a lot of depth, with the back legs set well behind the front – about 8 mm (0.3″) thick.
He is 3 cm wide by 3cm high (1.25″ both ways), fitted with an old-style rabbit ear safety clasp and weighs a full 10 grams (o.35 oz).
I have seen this brooch three or four times over the years, with marks always including Theodor Fahrner’s conjoined “TF” maker’s mark. (You can google “Fahrner poodle” for an example.) This brooch is identical in every respect, with the same marks in the same lettering/arrangement – “STERLING [over] SILVER” and “GERMANY” – but sadly lacks the TF maker’s mark, possibly misstruck or simply forgotten. The back was filthy black and rather than suggest it might be hidden underneath, the TF mark being so small, I gently cleaned the back but have not found it.
All the same, this is a fabulous brooch in very good vintage condition. Through the loupe there is a tiny nick in the enamel on the front left leg and slight wear to the edges of the left leg but no other damage. There are no missing marcasites and the clasp is in good working order with a sharp pin. The front has not been cleaned and the back is still quite tarnished.