Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Townshend Claw Mount Diamond, 1840-50

The Townshend Silver Claw Diamond
The VIctoria & Albert Museum

Here’s a gorgeous diamond ring which I’m sure Her Majesty wouldn’t mind wearing and owning. It’s not part of her personal collection, however. In fact, it’s part of the V&A’s Townshend Collection. As we know, the Reverend Chauncy Hare Townshend amassed a monumental collection of gems—some of which once belonged to Henry Philip Hope (as in “the Hope Diamond”). This enormous diamond is at the heart of the reverend’s collection—the most impressive of eight diamond rings which were bequeathed to the V&A in 1869 along with nearly three hundred other gem pieces.

This stone is a nearly colorless. Weighing about four carats, the stone is set in a silver claw mount which dates to about 1840 to 1850.

The Eight Diamond Rings in the Townshend Collection
The Victoria & Albert Museum

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