Fredrick the Opal and Diamond Bee, Rosenthal
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This amazing Opal and Diamond bumblebee brooch – affectionately nicknamed Fredrick – was so cool that it can now be seen adorning one of Brandon’s overcoats. It’s body and thorax are each set with Australian black crystal Opals with a kaleidoscope of blue, green and gold hues. The rest of the bee is intricately carved and textured, while the eyes are set with diamonds! Fredrick makes quite the statement, measuring over 1.50 inches across!
Bee brooches have a surprisingly fascinating history. They were made by Herbert Rosenthal, a New York jeweler who famously copyrighted this design in the late 1960’s when the Victorian revival was in full swing. The craze for insect pins grew to the point that several big firms started mass producing imitations, prompting Rosenthal to sue for copyright infringement. The case made it all the way to the US Supreme Court, where he lost, with the court deciding that motifs from nature cannot be claimed as intellectual property. This was good news for nature lovers and jewelry collectors, as there are now many more creatively designed critters to choose from.
Details: 18k yellow gold bee brooch set with 7.00ctw opals and .10ctw diamonds, signed Rosenthal, circa 1970.
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