Lot 23
  • 23

Diamond brooch, Oscar Massin, second half of the 19th century

19,000 - 23,000 CHF
25,000 CHF
bidding is closed


  • Oscar Massin
  • Gold, silver, diamonds
Of foliate design, set with cushion-shaped, circular-, single-cut and rose diamonds, brooch fitting detachable, French assay and partial maker's marks.


Cf: Hélène Delanoë, Le choc, la dent, la flamme, le procès d'identité des bijoutiers joailliers parisiens, Paris, 1985.

Catalogue Note

Oscar Massin was born in Liège in 1829. Following his apprenticeship from 1842 to 1851, he moved to Paris where he found work as a bench jeweller. In 1854, he was promoted to chef d'atelier after the shop owner discovered his drawings. In 1855, he moved to the Viette workshop where an important commission was placed to create a tiara for the Empress Eugénie of the French. Massin was entrusted with creating the drawing for this work which included the famous 'Regent' diamond. Together with eight co-workers, he produced the jewel which was then exhibited at the 1855 Exposition Universelle alongside the Crown Jewels.

In 1861, he began to draw new models featuring floral and foliate motifs with very thin, nearly invisible mountings. In 1867, he exhibited again at the Exposition Universelle. When he opened his own business in 1869, he also introduced butterfly, snake and bud aigrettes; and from 1865 to 1870 he was recognized for promoting the chandelier design in earrings. By the end of his career, his workshop boasted twenty-five workers, and his designs were often copied. He worked until 1892.