Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mastery of Design: A French Diamond Spray Ornament, c. 1850

Diamond Spray Ornament with Trembler
The Hull-Grundy Gift
The British Museum

I've had a good time these last couple of weeks exploring the jewelry in the Hull-Grundy gift to The British Museum.  Among the many grand jewels in the bequest is this ornamental trembler pin in the form of a floral spray, a piece which is highly representative of the Nineteenth Century revival of Eighteenth Century forms.  

The French work of silver, gold, and closed-back, pink-foiled diamonds is reminiscent of pieces made for the French court in the late Eighteenth Century.  Empress Eugénie revived the style in the 1850s when such floral ornaments found a new fashion in the naturalistic style which flourished across the European aristocracy.

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