Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Cory Multicolored Flower Brooch, 1810

Click image to enlarge.

Lady Cory's Multi-Colored Flower
France, c. 1810
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here’s another of Lady Cory’s jewels. I’m beginning to think that she and Dame Joan Evans must have had some kind of contest to see who could buy the most. I think it ended in a tie. This floral brooch is set with brilliant-cut diamonds, rubies and emeralds with mounts of gold and silver. It was made in France, circa 1810 as the fashion for Naturalistic jewelry was becoming firmly established.  

This concept cycled through several phases.  At first, such pieces were made with diamonds as well as colored gemstones and usually featured a single flower.  As time went on, they became floral sprays with a variety of blooms, still set with colored stones and diamonds.

Soon, these floral sprays transitioned away from polychrome stones and were set only with diamonds.  By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the sprays were simplified, again, to one single bloom set with diamonds.  

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