Doves of Pliny brooch

around 1870

Object Place: American or European


Height x width x depth: 3.5 x 5.6 x 5 cm (1 3/8 x 2 3/16 x 1 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Gilt metal and stones

Not On View


Americas, Europe, Jewelry



The subject of this rectangular Italian pietra dura brooch is the “Doves of Pliny” depicted by two flying doves carrying an olive branch in their beaks, symbolizing peace. In this case the branch is a string of four pearls which seem to be set in gold bezels inlaid beneath clear stone, perhaps quartz. There are incised details on the wings and chest of the birds. Above one of the birds is a flying butterfly usuall signifying rebirth and renewal. These colored stones are inlaid into a black hard stone in a horizontal format.
The mount, probably European or American, is open on the back and bisected by the pin stem. The piece is framed with a gilt metal border on the front.

Credit Line

Bequest of Maxim Karolik