Went to the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian museum in NYC last week for the Van Cleef and Arples exhibition. Wow! I never understood what the big deal was about the mystery setting until I saw the Peony Brooch. The red created by the massed rubies does not translate on paper or electrons; it inspires awe in person. No human could wear that brooch and measure up to it; if you wore it, everyone would talk to your chest!
Peony Brooch, Van Cleef and Arples
Maybe that was why the butterfly brooches made of Japanese lacquered wood were my favorites. The display made me laugh out loud; I won't ruin the surprise for you.
Kikumaki Butterfly Brooch, VC&A
All of these and more are on https://beta.cooperhewitt.org/ along with videos and information about how pieces were made and how innovating their construction is- but to experiance the pieces' beauty you have to see them in person. I got jewelry drunk just looking!