This dress arrived in the mail yesteday and fits like a glove. It's a light wool, which makes it great for winter. I wore it to work and out to see a friend's band play.
The brooch is marcasite, which is actually iron disulphide. (Ok, I googled it.)Apparently it started to gain use and popularity in England during the 18th century and was used to make lockets, brooches, and cameos, and as a substitute for "cut steel" beads that were popular in Georgian times.
Sorry about the blurry photo. I was in a rush!
Marcasite really gained popularity after the death of Queen Victoria's husband. "Dark and Sombre" was in. Silver and Marcasite jewellery became the fashion for the middle class and continued to the end of the Art Deco Period. This one was made in Germany and was given to my great aunt.