Friday, November 30, 2012

Gifts of Grandeur: A Ruby and Diamond Brooch

Gold, Metal, Diamonds and Rubies
The Victoria & Albert Museum
This beautiful brooch is caught between two eras. The upper portion is clearly rooted in Art Nouveau sensibilities with its symmetrical curvilinear crest. The lower part of the brooch, however, speaks of Art Deco ideals with its gently tapered, angular base—long and pointed, and set with contrasting diamonds and rubies.

The brooch was made sometime between 1910 and 1920—thus accounting for its combination of styles. It truly is a transitional design, and, really, quite an attractive one. Backed in gold, the diamonds and rubies are set in what is described simply as “white metal.” The maker of the brooch is unknown and there’s some debate as to whether it comes from the U.S. or from Europe. It is housed in Jewelry Room Ninety-One at the V&A.

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