Monday, February 4, 2013

Mastery of Design: A Bee Brooch, c. 1890

Bar Brooch
The Victoria & Albert Museum

All of the ideals of late Victorian English jewelry had a party and produced this brooch. The gold bar brooch is mounted with a gold bee. The buzzy little fellow is set with rose-cut diamonds and a pearl. Made between 1890 and 1900, the brooch shows the trend of the era toward diamond jewelry in naturalistic forms. Such a bee was handsome on its own, and, in this case, was designed to be worn as a singular, more informal piece. However, similar bees were often part of opulent diamond floral sprays, sometimes set on coiled wires—tremblers--so they might move as the wearer did.

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