Sunday, July 10, 2011

Masterpiece of the Week: A Gold, Diamond, Pearl and Enamel Bracelet, 1875

English, 1875
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Queen Victoria helped popularize the wearing of bracelets and bangles. What the Queen wore, everyone wore and by the mid Nineteenth Century, bracelets were a necessary accessory.

According to the Victoria & Albert Museum, “the French connoisseur Edmond Joly de Bammeville declared that the ‘daytime’ bracelet was the ‘main feature of national dress’ in England.” The trend was so important, in fact, that a lady would often wear seven or eight different bracelets between the wrist and elbow--on both arms—at a time. They were almost always worn over gloves.

This superb bracelet of gold has been set with pearls and European cut diamonds which have been accentuated by black enamel. It is the work of an unknown English maker and dates to 1875.


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