Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Sparkle: A Turquoise and Diamond Bracelet, 1862

The Victoria & Albert Museum

Here we have a truly stunning bracelet of gold, enamel, half-pearls, rose-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds and turquoises. Made in 1862 by T. & J. Bragg, this bracelet was exhibited by the firm firm at the International Exhibition of 1862, where it was immediately purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum.

This bracelet is further evidence of the English national craze for arm adornments which began in the 1850’s. Fashion expert Edmond Joly de Bammeville declared at the time that the “daytime bracelet was the main feature of national dress” in England. Since this one was snatched up by the V&A before it had a chance to be sold, it never served its purpose, but, rather, was elevated to a higher calling—representing its bangle brethren for eternity. 

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