Sunday, May 5, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: The Balmoral Brooch, 1895

Commemorative Brooch
Collingwood & Co., 1895
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Still in its original presentation box, this commemorative brooch was given to the actress Winifred Dolan (1867-1958) by Queen Victoria following Dolan’s special command performance of R. C. Carton's play “Liberty Hall.” The play was performed at Balmoral Castle on September 16, 1895. In the play, Miss Dolan played the role of “Miss Hickson.” The brooch was made by Collingwood & Co. especially for the Queen. Collingwood created several such commemorative pieces which Queen Victoria gifted to visitors or special guests.

As was the style of the time, the jewel is designed as bar brooch featuring the arms of the Royal Victorian Order, enameled in red on a gold base with six imitation pearls. The presentation box of green leather is trimmed with gold and lined in beige satin and velvet. 

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