Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Giuliano Victoria Pendant, 1877

Pendant with Portrait Medallion in Gold of Queen Victoria
Portrait by Durant
Pendant of Diamonds, Rubies and Enamel by Carlo Giuliano
England, 1877
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Queen Victoria presented this pendant to one of her godchildren—named for the Sovereign--Victoria Alexandrina Elizabeth Grey (died 1922) upon the occasion of the young woman’s marriage to Lt. Col. the Hon. Lewis Rayan Dawney on June 6, 1877.

Susan Durant modeled the profile of Queen Victoria. Durant was the pupil (and lover) of celebrated sculptor Henri Joseph François de Triqueti (1804-74).

The portrait was set into a pendant in the neo-Renaissance style, mounted in a gold frame enameled in blue, black and white, and set with diamonds and rubies. From the bottom, a pearl hangs from a diamond at the base of the frame. Carlo Giuliano (1826-1895) designed and made the pendant.

The piece is still housed in its original octagonal purple velvet case.

The reverse of the pendant is inscribed:

“To / V. A. E. D. / on her marriage / June 6th. 1877. / From the Queen.” 

The mark of Carlo Giuliani is visible--C.G in an oval.

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