We spoke to Oliver Horner of Fellows’ London office about his favourite item in Fellows’ upcoming Antique & Modern Jewellery sale:
Of all the items in our upcoming Antique & Modern jewellery sale, Lot 568 is of particular interest to me. This 19th Century diamond set brooch is punctuated with a sizable andalusite. From a historical aspect, this is an interesting choice as topaz would have typically been the preferential centre stone. The andalusite is a more unusual choice for the period. It’s not often you see this gem used in old period jewellery which enhances its appeal to me.
From a gemmological perspective, it is a stone that I particularly like. When two colours are clearly seen in a gemstone when viewed at different angles, the optical phenomenon is referred to as Pleochroism. Andalusite is a pleochroic material, and this particular stone displays two very distinct colours. The delicate diamond surround instantly draws your eye to this centre stone and its fascinating colour effect. It’s a great early example of a jeweller perhaps using a lesser known gem for its optical allure, making it a remarkable and exciting little piece.