I am so excited to be able to offer for sale in my Etsy shop a rare early Bernard Instone brooch.
Early Bernard Instone brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD.)
The brooch has a matrix turquoise held in a split / scalloped collet, set within a sterling silver triangular frame filled with handwrought sprays of leaves, flowers and triskeles / trinity knots.
Even though the brooch is not marked, I believe it to be an early piece by Bernard Instone. A very similar piece is currently for sale at Tadema Gallery, and mine bears an uncanny similarity in form, motifs and style of manufacture. The two brooches are undoubtedly by the same hand.
Bernard Instone studied at the Birmingham School of Jewellery at Vittoria Street, part of the Birmingham School of Art, under Arthur and Georgie Gaskin. He worked for John Paul Cooper for a while before opening Langstone Silver Works in Digbeth in 1920. The influence of both the Gaskins and Cooper can be seen in this piece: intricate and ornate floral decorations surrounding semi precious cabochons. Instone went on to develop a rather less busy, more fluid style. This piece is an interesting example of his early work.
I have written a more detailed blog post about Instone here.
UPDATE 19 July 2016: Wow, less than 24 hours in my shop and it sold!