I am fortunate to a signed one of these Arts and Crafts pretties, made by the Ruskin Pottery in England and dating to the beginning of the 1900s.
This example is offered by Etsy seller Agatha Hamster, and they explain, “It features a lightly hammered silver mount, the corners of which are curled up, with leaves and berries at each corner and set with a pottery ‘enamel’. The Pottery centerpiece is a gorgeous blue and green swirl of colour, with slight crazing in the surface glaze. The early date and appearance of the pottery glaze suggests it is a Ruskin Pottery plaque, however as the back of the plaque (which should be stamped Ruskin if original) is sealed behind the silver mount I cannot confirm this.
John Ruskin was one of the founding fathers of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain in the mid 1800s. When the Ruskin Pottery was founded in 1898 the owner, Edward Richard Taylor, named it after Ruskin in recognition of his philosophy. The pottery began making the small cabochons or ‘enamels’ in the early 1900s and they became very popular, being used for simple home made jewellery, as well as for more expensive pieces by high end silversmiths, including work for Liberty of London. Other potteries did make similar plaques in the 1920s and 30s but When the the Ruskin Pottery closed in 1935 the secret behind the specific glazes was destroyed so the work could not be replicated.
This example is in lovely condition, with no damage to the mount or the pottery plaque, and a good overall patination and oxidation which I have not removed. The hammer marks are most visible on the back of the brooch, where the number 240 has also been hand engraved in the past, possibly as a catalogue style number. No hallmarks but tests as sterling silver and the tube hinge and C clasp on the back are in good working order. Size: 33mm x 27mm. ”
The seller is UK-based; this is priced at £123.