Saturday, November 16, 2019

Georg Jensen Brooch #69 with Blue Sapphire

Georg Jensen's brooch design #69 isn't all that frequently encountered today. I know of only a handful of examples, each predating the Second World War. One, just sold on eBay in September, reportedly has a cabochon of blue sapphire.

Tarnish imparts an interesting patina to Jensen silver and highlights the hand-hammered relief.

Identifying this stone as a blue sapphire seems reasonable, but labradorite might also be a possibility:

The hinged clasp with sliding closure mechanism:

The classic GI in a circle hallmark was used between 1915 and 1930. The .830 silver mark indicates that this piece predates the 1927 Jensen sterling standard (83% silver as opposed to 92.5%). Therefore this piece was made between seventeen and twenty-eight years before the gift engraving was added in 1943. During the war new Jensen silver was not obtainable from Denmark, so receiving a gift of this quality must have been something quite special.

"For U. B. from the Sanfords, 3-31-1943." Was U. B. marrying into the Sanford family?

The design number 69 is difficult to read.

Georg Jensen Brooch #69
eBay Listing Ended September 19, 2019

Georg Jensen Brooch #69
eBay Item Description

Georg Jensen
eBay Bid History
Four bids. The last one gets it.

The earliest example of this brooch that I know of has a cabochon of green agate. It is in .826 silver, which predates the .830, with the Copenhagen hallmark dating this piece to 1907-1914, but the rare GI hallmark suggests it is on the very early end of that. This was offered on eBay I believe in 2011. I did not record the asking price or whether it sold. The seller dated the piece to 1908-1912:

Note the layers: 

Another example of brooch #69 sold by Uniques & Antiques, Inc., of Aston, PA, has a cabochon of lapis lazuli. It sold for $175 in September, which means this rare brooch came up for sale at least twice in the same month.

The Georg Jensen in a dotted oval hallmark dates the piece to 1915-1919 when .830 silver was in use.

This stone certainly has the characteristic flecks of lapis:

The side view gives a sense of the complicated three-dimensional configuration of brooch design 69.

Another hinged clasp with sliding closure:

Georg Jensen Brooch #69
Uniques & Antiques, Inc.
September 9, 2019

The most recent example of this design is the only one in .925 sterling silver with a silver cabachon. It has what I take to be a prewar GI hallmark and is available today from Drucker Antiques of Mt. Kisco for $650.

Georg Jensen Brooch #69
Drucker Antiques

Another example in sterling, probably similar to (or possibly identical to) the one with Drucker Antiques, was sold as part of a grouping by Rago Arts and Auctions of Lambertville, NJ. It is shown upside-down at the 2:00 position:
Five Georg Jensen brooches
Rago Arts and Auctions
June 9, 2017

Note:  I would like to know of other examples of George Jensen brooch #69, especially if they are significantly different from the above in some aspect.


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