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  • earrings
    Bissinger, Georges, born 1836 - died 1912
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1880-1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bissinger, Georges, born 1836 - died 1912 (gem engraver)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Layered agate mounted in gold

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Christine Wishart

  • Museum number:

    M.13:1 to 2-2018

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

These earrings are by the Franco-German gem-engraver Jean Georges Bissinger (1836-1912). They have a patent fitting for attachment to the ear.
Bissinger exhibited at the Paris exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 and was still working in 1904 when the journal Public Opinion admired his work: ‘M. Georges Bissinger's cameos are small as a rule; they are engraved particularly in the antique style, and as such are remarkably successful’. At the Paris exhibition of 1878 he showed a series of 112 gems copied from examples in the Cabinet des Médailles. The jeweller Alexis Falize noted his use of a lathe to simulate lace in his report on the Philadelphia Exhibition in 1876.

Physical description

Pair of earrings, each with a layered agate cameo head mounted in varicoloured gold, surrounded by diamond sparks set in silver and surmounted by a pearl. The female heads are classical and in profile: one is Omphale wearing the lion-skin of Hercules (cf. http://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/record/A616A6B9-E094-4D5C-815D-A76062E6A0E4). Each earring has a patent clip composed of a small circle of gold fixed to the top of the back of the mount, which acts as the base against which a large circle of gold acts as a spring clip, its base at the lower end of the fitting held in a high 'y' shaped fitting. The ear lobe is held between the small circle and the large circle mounted on the spring clip. The clip can be flipped open to 180 degrees.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)


ca. 1880-1900 (made)


Bissinger, Georges, born 1836 - died 1912 (gem engraver)

Materials and Techniques

Layered agate mounted in gold

Marks and inscriptions

'Pax / BTE'
On support of the spring clip on both earrings. The 'P' is uncertain. BTE is an abbreviation for Breveté, indicating that the design for the clip fitting was patented.


Height: 29 mm, Width: 18 mm, Depth: 13 mm

Object history note

These earrings are a gift from the great-granddaughter of Jean Georges Bissinger (born Hanau, 1836; recorded in the family records as dying in Croissy-sur-Seine, 1912), who married Berthe Louise Brunnarius (1848-1892), daughter of Karl Rudolph Brunnarius (1816-72), who is depicted in a cameo by Bissinger (M.12-2018).
The Bissingers' daughter, Berthe (1876-1973), was the first wife of Charles Oscar Caesar. Their daughter, Marthe Alice Caesar (1901-1968), married Jean Daniel Hoechstetter (1900-1987). Their daughter, Christine Wishart, is the donor.

Descriptive line

Pair of earrings, each with a layered agate cameo head mounted in varicoloured gold, surrounded by diamond sparks and surmounted by a pearl, France, ca. 1880-1900


Layered agate; Gold




Jewellery; Metalwork; Cameo


Metalwork Collection

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