This beautiful mixed gemstones Arts and Crafts flower brooch was made c1925 by the British Arts and Crafts jewellery designer Edith Linnell, whilst she was still working in Birmingham. Undoubtedly, there is a Bernard Instone influence, in the way the stones are mounted, and this is probably due to a collaboration where she utilised the Langstone Silver Works for some of her production. Edith, like Bernard, was an ex student of the Birmingham Central School of Art, of which the Vittoria Street school formed part. Her work reflects the A&C traditions of her peers, including Bernard Instone, Sibyl Dunlop and Dorrie Nossiter.
Edith Linnell originally set her sights on becoming a portrait painter but her love of designing jewellery set her on a different track. After attending the Vittoria Street school in Birmingham, she set up business in the Burlington Arcade and then later had a shop in Sloane Street, in an exclusive part of London. Sadly the shop was bombed out in the Blitz during the 2nd World War and that marked the end of Linnell’s career. Hence the more limited nature of her pieces-great to come across one of them. Always a treat! Her work is exhibited in galleries around the world, including the V&A in London.
The brooch was historically misattributed as a Bernard Instone piece, however it is evident from several key points, that it is indeed by Edith Linnell.
This is a lovely, large, statement brooch filled with a myriad of colours from the beautiful gems used in the display.
Linnell was fond of mixing different gemstones, also mixing cabochon with faceted stones, as well as using an assortment of shapes, as is the case here. I love the mainly purples, blues and pinks nature of this particular brooch. There are amethyst, rose quartz, blue chalcedony, moonstone, citrine, chrysoprase and aquamarine paste stones.
She did not sign many of her pieces (generally the case with A&C makers, which is why there is so much confusion about attribution generally). This example, typically, being stamped “SILVER” on the stem near the end of the piece.
The leaves are absolutely Edith Linnell! They are chunky and have detailing in the centre of the leaf, running from one end to the other on each leaf. It is again, easy to identify her leaves on the underside, by noticing the way you can see the central vein standing out so predominantly on each leaf. The same design on other Linnell pieces.
The brooch is approx. 5.5cm wide and approx 3.3cm in height with staggeringly colourful and sparkly stones-all in super order! Some patina.