Saturday, August 24, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Valentine Rippon Brooch, 1953

Valentine Rippon, 1953
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Made in London in 1953 for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, this brooch by Valentine Rippon is a simple and elegant design of gold and aquamarines. It was made for T.M. Balson, and is engraved “T.C.F. Wise, London 1953.”

The brooch’s design draws from traditional Royal jewelry motifs. The serpentine gold work refers to Queen Victoria’s engagement ring—a winding snake representing eternity—while the bow-like shape reminds us of the jewels of Queen Mary who favored bow-brooches. Aquamarines play a large part in the collection of Queen Elizabeth II’s jewels as she seems to favor them. 

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