A silver and marcasite brooch in the form of a horse and carriage. A watch signed ''Monarch". In working condition.
Most jewellery today is worn for its aesthetic value, however some items were originally crafted for practical purposes. Brooches, for example, were used to keep clothes pinned together, but through the ages, they have become more ornate and decorative. Watch brooches were popular with women in the Victorian era because wrist watches had not yet been invented.
Marcasite jewellery has a history that extends back to the Incas, and it has been used by civilizations throughout the ages. It was commonly worn during Queen Victoria's reign, particularly during tough economic times. Thus it became known as the ''poor man's diamond''. It is a natural mineral, but it is soft and crumbles easily. Therefore jewellery designers favour pyrite, which has similar properties and colouring, although the name marcasite continues to be used. Marcasite jewellery is generally created by gluing small, shaped pieces of pyrite into prepared holes made in the silver. The dark marcasite and the lighter silver are the perfect colour combination, as they offset each other efffectively, and give the brooch a vintage look.
This beautifully crafted brooch shows a man driving a horse-drawn carriage, and the intricate detail adds to its uniqueness. It harkens back to a more romantic era, and this is emphasised by the use of the marcasite, which gives it a traditional and elegant feel.
This novelty time piece can be pinned to the chest as an elaborate brooch while still serving as a functional watch.