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Antique diamond snake brooch set with a natural pearl by Thomas Gaunt

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Antique diamond snake brooch set with a natural pearl by Thomas Gaunt

This antique brooch was made by Thomas Gaunt one of Australia’s most famous early jewellers. Set with antique European cut diamonds and a natural pearl.

A brief history on T Gaunt & Co:
Thomas Gaunt was born in London and emigrated to Australia in 1852 and established Melbourne’s leading watchmaking, optical and jewellery business in 1858 in Little Bourke Street. Around 1869 he moved to new premises in Bourke Street on the corner of Royal Arcade.
Gaunt proudly advertised that he was ‘The only watch manufacturer in the Australian colonies’. While many watches and clocks may have had Gaunt’s name on the dial, few would have been made locally. Gaunt did make some watches for exhibitions, and perhaps a few expensive watches for wealthy individuals. Gaunt’s received a telegraph signal from Melbourne Observatory each day to correct his main clock, and used this signal to rate and repair ship’s chronometers and good quality watches.

He made many turret clocks for town halls, churches and post offices. He made the clock for the Melbourne Post Office lobby, to a design by Government Astronomer Robert Ellery. Some other notable clocks that he made was for the Melbourne Parliament House, Melbourne Customs House, the Flinders St Station ‘Watertower’ clock and Hawthorn, Collingwood and Malvern’s Town Halls among just a few. He won an award at the 1880-81 Melbourne International Exhibition for his turret clock for the Emerald Hill Town Hall. He also made the chronograph at Flemington Racecourse which showed the time for the race, accurate to a quarter of a second. The firm also installed the clockwork and figures for Gog and Magog in the Royal Arcade.

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