An antique diamond set stickpin

Possibly Italian, c.1890


the terminal comprising of an upturned scallop shell in yellow gold, centred with the standing figure of the goddess Venus in silver, who holds a gold mirror mounted with a single diamond to serve as the glass.

The composition is clearly designed to evoke Botticelli’s famous painting ‘The Birth of Venus, which depicts the goddess standing atop of a scallop shell. Shells are an attribute of Venus, for like she they are born from the sea. The incorporation of the mirror is likely to serve as a rebus of the goddess’s legendary beauty.

Length: 10cm