Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mastery of Design: Lady Cory’s Sapphire and Diamond Necklace, 1850-1930

Sapphire and Diamond Necklace
Silver-set Diamonfs on gold mount
1850, altered in 1930
Cory Bequest
The Victoria & Albert Museum
European-cut diamonds set in silver and mounted around gold-set, marvelously clean, sapphires, this truly magnificent necklace was created in 1850 in England. Originally, the piece was one long necklace which was designed to be worn in conjunction with a jeweled stomacher.

When acquired by the aristocratic Lady Cory, it was treasured for the exceptional quality of its stones, but found to be an unflattering style. In 1930, Lady Cory had the necklace adapted into a shorter, double-strand piece. The excess links were made into earrings, making a valuable and gorgeous parure. Lady Cory bequeathed the necklace to the Victoria & Albert Museum along with the bulk of her impressive and celebrated collection of priceless gems.

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