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Late Georgian Halley’s Comet Brooch

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A most unusual and rare late Georgian brooch of Halley’s comet.
Halley’s Comet was named after Sir Edmund Halley, the royal astronomer. He formed a view that all of the sightings between 1531 and 1682 were actually one single comet, which circled the sun every 75-76 years. Halley predicted that it would return again in 1759 and, when it did, it received its name. The next sighting was in 1835 and, soon after, jewellers began creating Halley’s Comet pins, which were influenced by the shape of the comet as it approached the sun, it heated up and produced a tail that streaks away from the comet’s head. These intricate small pins are rare and significant historical pieces. Both the Georgians and Victorians had an affinity for symbolism and meaning, and created jewellery to represent birth, love, betrothal, and mourning or death. In both time periods, significant events such as Halley’s Comet sightings, also inspired commemorative jewellery pieces. My view is that this jewel is a memorial piece as it features a carved hard stone of a celestial lyre, and what looks to be a fish with gills swimming towards one, which forms part of the lyre.

Written by Olly Gerrish


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Date & Origin


Very Good




Gold Agate


Unmarked, tested to at least 15ct gold


Width of face 13mm
Height of face 25mm
Length of pin 40mm

Item Number


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