Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Aurora Goddess of Dawn Bracelet, 1870

Rome, c. 1870
This and all related images from:
The Victoria & Albert Museum

With a shape inspired by then-recent finds of ancient jewelry, this bracelet is adorned, not with a scene from antiquity, but rather with a micromosaic scene based on a Renaissance painting by Guido Reni (1575-1642). Aurora, Goddess of the Dawn, is shown in much the same stance—with her chariot and assistants—that she takes in Reni’s fresco at the Pallavicini-Rospigliosi Palace in Rome.

Now part of the collection of Sir Arthur and Rosalinde Gilbert at the V&A, the oval mosaic and gold bracelet fastens with locking hinges. It was made in Rome, c. 1870.  Clearly, it was meant as a souvenir of Rome--as indicated by the giant ROMA on the reverse.  

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