Dorrie Nossiter

Jade Brooch Selling in Our June Auction

A stunning brooch by one of the most renowned female jewellers of the 20th century will sell at Wilson 55's June 16th Fine Jewellery & Watches Sale.

 Dorrie Nossiter Clip Brooch Jewellery Auction

A jade and gem-set silver clip brooch attributed to Dorrie Nossiter, circa 1920, of bicolour design, the jade carving depicting a gourd and blossom, with pink tourmaline, split pearl, and aventurine quartz surround and clip brooch setting, with original retail tag from the Tadema Gallery attributing to Sibyl Dunlop, probably by Dorrie Nossiter, length 6.8cm, gross weight 21.2g. £1,000-2,000


Dorrie Nossiter was born in 1893 in Aston, near Birmingham. She created her jewels in both the Art Deco and Arts & Crafts movements, using silver and gold. Her work is typically vibrant and colourful, using a wide array of gemstones to include tourmaline, sapphire, pearl and jade. Notably, Dorrie Nossiter's jewellery is set with a chromatic selection of gemstones, set in light claw settings. Dorrie exhibited at the Walker’s Gallery, London from 1935 - 1939. A review in The Times of the Art by Four Women exhibition describes her jewellery beautifully: 

". . . and Miss Dorrie Nossiter hand-wrought jewellery. This last combines a delicate fantasy in the settings with good taste in colour in the choice of stones, a slightly exotic flavour being an advantage." (Anon, 1935) 


Attribution of Nossiter's Work

Nossiter's work is frequently confused with that of her contemporary, Sibyl Dunlop. Both women were making jewellery at the same time, and pieces from either of these important women jewellers were rarely marked or signed. Furthermore, few exhibition catalogues, designs and images have survived until the present day, making attribution even more difficult.

There are striking similarities between Dunlop's and Nossiter's work, each favouring colourful and clustered gemstones, wirework settings, and use of gold and silver in their work. It is in their stylistic settings and methods of construction that distinguising factors can be found.

This brooch has a tapered clip fastening that is typical of Nossiter's work, these clips were designed to be worn "on the cuff of a short sleeve" (Hinks) but are incredibly versatile and work beautifully worn on a lapel, collar, cuff or accenting the neckline of any dress. The use of jade helps to differentiate this piece, with the material being a firm favourite of Nossiter's to work with. 



Our next Fine Jewellery & Watches Sale takes place on Thursday 16th June. View the auction preview here.

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