Enamelled pansy brooch

1900 · Brooch · Enamel · Language of Flowers · Newark NJ USA · Pansy · Pearl

Viola × Wittrockiana hybrid



Made in Newark, New Jersey, USA

Approximately 1900

Unknown maker. Hallmarked

Enamel, 585/1000 gold

26,7 x 28,75 mm

4,47 grams





In the later decades of the 19th century, Newark, New Jersey, was considered to be the USA capital of jewellery. The growing wealth of the new middle-class in America created a demand for affordable and wearable items.  The Newark group of manufacturers, which numbered 200 at its peak, was producing 90% of America’s gold jewellery. The majority of pieces were made in 14k gold, embellished by skillfully applied polychrome enamels with only occasional gemstone accents. You can read more about the Newark group in this Dupuis article.

“You are always on my mind”, immortalised by a polychrome enamelled golden pansy flower, as in the language of flowers the pansy flower was used to express loving thoughts. Pansy, the name of the pretty flower, indeed comes from the French word pensée; a noun derived from penser, “to think or “ponder over something”.

As “penser also means to consider, to take the measure of a situation,  the pansy flower was also embraced as a symbol by the Free Thinkers Society.  They adopted a model of logical thought that was free from societal constraints, expectations, emotions or dogma.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *