Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mastery of Design: An Amazing Enamel and Diamond Spray Ornament, 1780-1800

Spray Ornament
Enamel, Gold, Rose-Cut Diamonds
The Victoria and Albert Museum
Flowers have always been considered the perfect adornment, but they’re not very long-lasting. In the late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries, jewelers perfected the art of the “spray ornament” which would achieve the look of a floral decoration, but last forever and be markedly more luxurious (and sparkly).

This one is a variation on the theme, showing the skill with which enamel was used in jewelry making. A bouquet of multi-colored flowers set with rose-cut diamonds and bound by a diamond and blue enamel ribbon is the centerpiece of this astoundingly beautiful and intricate bodice ornament. It could be worn independently or attached to a removable gold hook which served to elevate the ornament. 

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