A HARDSTONE, EMERALD AND DIAMOND BLACKAMOOR BROOCH, BY NARDI The hardstone blackamoor wearing a textured turban set with a circular-cut diamond and cabochon emeralds, with gold ear hoops, the textured and openwork tunic set with circular-cut diamonds and cabochon emeralds, suspending a fringe of circular-cut diamonds and cabochon emeralds, mounted in 18K gold
From a Japanese fine-art auction site: "Onyx cameo head of a Negress facing in profile towards the left, magnificently habillée in gold rose diamond jewels like an Empress diamond necklace fringed with drop shaped pendants, huge gold crescent girandole earring, bandeau tied with a knot over brow with plume linked by festoon chains pendants to jewelled net over chignon at the back of the head."
"The View of Venice " Moretto brooch wih rubies and diamonds. Nardi. Venezia
The Blackamoor clip. Especially popular during the Victorian era, I have avoided pinning these no matter how technically beautiful they may be. Why? Because I felt they could be racist; they seem to dehumanize Africans as exotic and decorative and I was uncomfortable with that idea. But to ignore history is to be doomed to repeat it and censoring the past helps no one. They are beautiful but they also can trivialize slavery and that needs to be remembered.
At first sight, this piece looks like another beautiful Moretto brooch by Nardi. The emblem of the city of Venice, inspired by Shakespeare's Othello. A jet carved head adorned with golden turban and dress set in rubies and diamonds. But this one is an "Aprible" moretto!, the dress opens up to reveal an image of the city of Venice!, a nice touch to make the jewel more interesting and secretively special.