Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mastery of Design: An Indian Tourmaline Brooch, 1860

Tourmaline, Emerald, Diamonds, Pearls, Gold
India, 1860
The Victoria & Albert Museum
A gorgeous pink tourmaline is the centerpiece of this fantastic brooch which also includes rose-cut diamonds, emeralds, and river pearls set in gold. The carved emerald drop is detachable.

This brooch was made in India for the Western market and bears trademarks of both English and Indian sensibilities. In 1851visitors to the Great Exhibition had become enamored of the displays of Indian jewelry, marveling at its opulent appearance and vivid colors.

By 1860, Indian jewelers learned that their good would sell quite well in England and began producing works in their traditional methods with an eye for English tastes. This brooch is an excellent example of that interesting artistic trend.

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