Snowflake : Antique Starburst Pendant / Brooch with Turquoise and Pearls


This versatile antique pendant/ enhancer/ brooch dates from the turn of the 20th Century, circa 1890 – 1910. Cleverly fitted with a removable bale, this little snowflake has an abundance of styling options. Whether it’s hanging from a chain, suspended from a string of pearls, pinned to your shirt or into your hair this beautiful treasure is sure to win you lots of compliments.

Celestial jewellery was popular throughout the Victorian and Edwardian Eras, advancements in optics had lead to the development of more powerful telescopes and astronomers were discovering new stars and galaxies in our universe. (Fun fact: the planet Uranus was ‘discovered’ in 1781 by William Herschel who wanted to name it ‘George’ after his patron King George III) The stars appealed to the romantic and sentimental Victorians who embraced the North Star or Lucky Star motif as a guiding light. You will find variations on this style in extremely extravagant examples in high carat gold and platinum encrusted with rows of old cut diamonds, or more modest little treasures like this one here.

Made in 9ct yellow gold in both cast and hand assembled components, this jewel is ingeniously made as three items of jewellery in one. The pendant bale can be removed courtesy of a hook at the back, allowing it to be worn as an enhancer from a string of pearls or beads, or as a brooch. The brooch fittings are invisible when worn as a pendant or enhancer and do not interfere with its comfort or wearability. It is hallmarked 9c to the back.

The jewel is set with a cute little mixture of natural seed pearls and shell-based pearls.  Pearls were very precious and rare before the invention of the cultured pearl in 1910, so imitations were made by crushing up mother of pearl and using resin to form a pearl-like ball. While this may not be the most desirable to modern sensibilities it is 100% correct for the time period.
The turquoise cabochons are also a little conceit – the faux turquoise are paste (glass) these are also 100% correct for the time period, although they could be easily replaced if desired. The advantage of these cute bright blue little cabochons is that they will never discolour over time as natural turquoise is wont to.

The pendant measures 38mm long with the bail or 31mm without, x 31mm x 12.4mm. It weighs 3.4 grams

Overall in lovely antique condition with no signs of repairs. There is a fleabite to the central cabochon and another to one of the shell-based pearls – both only visible under magnification but mentioned here for transparency.
Ready for immediate and everyday wear.


This striking antique starburst pendant / enhancer / brooch is modelled in 9ct yelow gold and set with a delightful mixture of seed pearls and shell based pearls with paste turquoise cabochons.

The pendant measures 38mm long with the bail or 31mm without, x 31mm x 12.4mm. It weighs 3.4 grams


Additional information


Late Victorian through Edwardian – 1895 – 1914


Australian – makers mark for Johnson & Simonsen


33.5mm high, including the bale
25.2mm wide
11.2mm deep from tip of central pearl to the back of the pin.


solid 15ct gold, including hinge, pin and clasp.
18 split seed pearls ranging from 1.5mm – 2mm
6x 2mm solid Australian jelly opals