Jewellery, Watches, Antiquities and Objects of Vertu

To be Sold on: 16th March 2021

Estimate: £4,000 - £6,000

A Victorian diamond ‘en tremblant’ dog rose brooch, the realistically modelled spray with a five petal flowerhead mounted ‘en tremblant’ and set amidst foliage with a single rose bud above, the brooch set throughout with old-brilliant-cut and cushion-shaped diamonds, with rose-cut diamond highlights, gold and silver mounted, length 8cm.

£4,000-£6,000

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A Victorian diamond ‘en tremblant’ dog rose brooch, the realistically modelled spray with a five petal flowerhead mounted ‘en tremblant’ and set amidst foliage with a single rose bud above, the brooch set throughout with old-brilliant-cut and cushion-shaped diamonds, with rose-cut diamond highlights, gold and silver mounted, length 8cm.

£4,000-£6,000
The dog rose - or ‘rose canina’, also known as ‘eglantine’, was said to represent ‘pleasure and pain’ in the ‘language of flowers’.


Floriography (the language of flowers) reached a zenith in Victorian England in the 19th century, as well as enjoying huge popularity in France and the United States. Gifts of blooms and specific floral arrangements were used to send coded messages to the recipient, allowing the sender to tacitly express their feelings which could not otherwise be spoken.

Hundreds of publications were dedicated to the subject. Joseph Hammer-Purgstall’s Dictionnaire du Langage des Fleurs (1809) appears to be the first published list associating flowers with symbolic definitions, whilst the first dictionary of floriography appears in 1819 when Louise Cortambert, writing under the pen name of Madame Charlotte de la Tour, wrote Le Langage des Fleurs.

The subject was to remain popular until the 1880s.

Condition Report

The diamonds are bright and with good scintillation, a combination of old-cuts and cushion-cuts, mostly of good colour and clarity. Estimated clarity gradings VS1-2, some of the very small diamonds with lower clarity grade. Estimate colour gradings G-I. The coiled spring behind the principal flower is in working condition. There are considerable signs of alterations and remounting to the back of the stems, suggesting the piece, essentially mid 19th century, may have been remodelled later in the century as a smaller spray brooch, having perhaps formerly been part of a larger corsage. Gross weight 23.8gm.