Monday, April 22, 2013

Mastery of Design: Queen Victoria's Diamond Fringe Brooch

Queen Victoria's Diamond Fringe Brooch
R & S Garrard, 1856
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s recent birthday, today, we’re going to take a look at her glorious private collection of jeweler, much of which was inherited from Her Majesty’s grandmother, Queen Mary, and Great-grandmother, Queen Alexandra.

Queen Alexandra was given this brooch in 1901 after the death of her mother-in-law Queen Victoria. Technically, the brooch was bequeathed to Victoria’s eldest son, King Edward VII, but he couldn’t wear it, so Alexandra did the honors.

Queen Victoria’s fringe brooch was designed to be worn at the topmost edge of the bodice. When the brooch was made, ladies’ bodices were rather low-cut, so the brooch would have drawn further attention to the fashionable expanse of décolletage.

Made by R & S Garrard for Queen Victoria in 1856 (not by Mr. Punch), the brooch consists of a large emerald-cut brilliant diamond which has been surrounded by twelve large brilliants. From this, nine diamond chains have been hung.

Garrards made over an existing piece of jewelry to create this brooch for the Queen. The brooch was created to showcase the stones which had been presented to Queen Victoria by the Sultan of Turkey, Abdul Mejid I, in May of 1856.

Upon the death of Queen Alexandra, the brooch was given to Queen Mary who presented it, just before her death in 1953, to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. The Queen Mother wore this brooch on her gown for the 1953 Coronation of her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. After the Queen Mother’s death, the brooch was bequeathed to Queen Elizabeth who wears the piece frequently for state occasions. 

No comments: