White opal, gold and silver brooch in the shape of a flower attributed to John Rowland of Melbourne, about 1900.

The opal was sourced from the White Cliffs opal fields in New South Wales, and the central red adornment is of red paste rather than a gemstone - this was not uncommon during this period, due to the lack of supply,as the costs and the security required to bring precious stones from abroad were prohibitive.

The gold backing to the opal brooch is crafted by a 'classically' trained jeweller, and is in the style of an English pocket watch 'cock cover' or watch back. Cock covers were elaborately gilded carved brass covers made to protect the balance wheel and staff of a watch. Used in the 17th and 18th centuries, the cock covers were retained when watches were broken up for spare parts and became the basis for a unique form of jewellery. This form of jewellery, comprising brooches, necklaces, earrings and bracelets was popular from approximately 1885 to about 1900.

Physical Description

Opal, gold and silver brooch in the shape of a flower with intricate gold backing.

More Information