Thursday, May 16, 2013

Masterpiece of the Week: A Garnet and Diamond Bodice Ornament, 1680-1700

Bodice Ornament
Silver, Gold, Garnets and Rose-Cut Diamonds
The Victoria & Albert Museum

During the late Seventeenth Century, upper-crust ladies adorned their gowns with jeweled ornaments which often took the form of flowers or ribbons. This piece, part of an impressive and rare suite is one of the few surviving examples of Seventeenth Century jeweled ribbon work.

A setting of silver and gold contains gorgeous hessonite garnets and rose-cut diamonds arranged to mimic the folds of a real ribbon. Additional detachable pendants create a different look and can be worn independently or as earrings. Made in the Netherlands between 1680 and 1700, this magnificent piece was donated to the V&A by Dame Joan Evans. 

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