Natural USA Pearl Brooch Recreated
Original Amethyst & Pearl Brooch
What was lost hasn't necessarily been found, but re-created in all of its dazzling purple, white and gold glory.Famed Norway naturalist George Howe collects local minerals with girls from Camp McWain in Waterford around 1927.
The noted Howe amethyst brooch has risen from the proverbial ashes of Maine's mines, brought back by a local artist.
For the past five years, jeweler and mineral collector Dennis Creaser has worked to replicate the amethyst, pearl and gold-leaf brooch commissioned by famous Norway naturalist George Robley Howe for his mother, Mary. The piece was created around 1912 or 1913 to honor his parents' 50th wedding anniversary. It was lost during a field trip in Boston in 1957 and hasn't been seen since, according to Creaser.
“It is a quintessential piece of Maine jewelry,” he said from his shop on Main Street in Paris recently. The art nouveau brooch features a diamond-shaped piece of amethyst, surrounded by tiny gold leaves containing 12 freshwater pearls between the leaves.
“I was saddened to learn from Vandall King, noted Maine mineral and mining author/historian, who contributed to my historical knowledge of the brooch, that the piece was lost,” Creaser said.
Before Howe became a naturalist, Creaser said he worked for an insurance company and as a reporter for New York World. He married Emma Boardman in April 1888 and, two years later, they had one daughter, Marjorie. When the child was 3 years old, Emma moved back to Connecticut, taking their daughter with her. The couple divorced in 1897.
It was a turning point in Howe's life, according to Creaser and local historian David Sanderson, who penned a short biography on Howe. Howe took a job on a farm in Denmark, where he learned about high-grade amethyst that had been found at the now-lost mine on Pleasant Mountain in nearby Bridgton, roughly 30 years earlier. He set out to the mine to find amethyst.
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