gold + diamonds + enamel Minerva brooch
brass + enamel + paint Minerva brooch, in the shop
I got a few questions about the Minerva/Athena brooch I listed a couple weeks ago as part of the Classical Studies Update. Was this a popular style? What other examples of Greco/Roman goddess jewelry existed? Well, I went looking for similar pieces and I found some real beauties. All of these are fine - gold, pearls, diamonds, etc. - depicting the goddess Minerva (or Athena) in a variety of styles, but with certain consistent features. She always has flowing, curly hair. She is always wearing a helmet, topped with a creature of some kind (griffin, dolphin or serpent). And . . . she is always beautiful. She seems to have been a popular subject for enamel brooches and cameos in the late 1800s. My piece is a great example of how costume jewelers imitated fine jewelers, copying popular trends using less expensive materials. Man, I love 1930s-1940s costume jewelry. I just really love it.