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"Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels, all scatter'd in the bottom of the sea. . ."
Shakespeare, Richard III, Act I, Scene IV


I've always loved images of the octopus in art. Besides being one of the most intelligent cephalopods, the octopus, with its eight tentacles, lends itself to a number of sinuous and graceful forms -- some of which are captured here in sparkling gems and rhinestones worthy of any undersea trove.
Modern octopus brooch in lavender rhinestones and hematite-toned metal, by Pell. This design is unusual because of the assymetrical "reaching" pose and the use of baguettes to define the tentacles. Not just your ordinary pin -- has some artistic integrity, à mon avis.
Whimsy brooch in pink and white enamel with rhinestone accents. I WANT this brooch. Signed MB. If you have it, please contact me. Photo courtesy of Costume Jewelry by Harrice Simons Miller, 1994.

Photo by Kenneth Chen

This brooch was sold by Sothebys, as "a colored stone and diamond octopus brooch [by] Martin Katz," with an estimate of $10,000-15,000. I love this colorful jewel-encrusted octopus, clutching its fish. Image via Sotheby's.

Photo by Chris Astley  

This stunning jewel-encrusted octopus brooch by Kenneth J. Lane appears to have been influenced by the Martin Katz brooch above -- or perhaps both were influenced by a third source. This image is from the In Style Website where this brooch may be purchased for $225. If you can't afford 15,000, this may actually be a bargain.
Circa 1900. Brooch by Wilhelm Lucas von Cranach, entitled "Tintenfisch und Schmetterling" (Octopus and Butterfly). One may well wonder what provoked von Cranach to combine a creature from under the sea with a creature of the air. This brooch, currently in the collection of the Jewellery Museum at Pforzheim, incorporates diamonds, enamel, rubies, amethysts, and a topaz. It is centered around a truly amazing set of baroque pearls (and notice that the "head" pearl actually has an "eye" -- a tiny round pearl embedded in the matrix.) Shows influences of both Art Nouveau and Renaissance design. Image courtesy of Art Nouveau Jewelry by Vivienne Becker, 1985.
Brooch by Louis Aucoc in gold and diamonds with plique-a-jour enamel water and a baroque pearl. Aphrodite, or a sea-maiden, reclines on a shell, accompanied by a suspended octopus with ruby eyes. France, c. 1900. René Lalique apprenticed with Aucoc. From Art Nouveau Jewelry by Vivienne Becker, 1985.
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