Monday, September 9, 2013

Mastery of Design: The DEAREST Bird, c. 1830

This and all related images
from The British Museum

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From The British Museum's Hull-Grundy Collection, this two-color gold comb was made around 1830 in Britain.  The comb is designed in the form of a leafy branch upon which is perched a bird with a ruby eye.  She carries a ring in her beak and is mounted on a trembler spring to give her movement.

The twig, at the central crest is set with a diamond, an emerald, an amethyst, a ruby, an emerald, a sapphire and a turquoise, which, as we know, in the language of jewels spells "DEAREST."  Gold foliage and turquoise-set forget-me-nots adorn the rest of the branch.

This is one in a collection of bird-themed romantic jewelry amassed by the Hull-Grundy family, itself a part of a fantastic parure.

Click images to "embiggen."

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