Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: The Henry Wilson Belt Clasp, 1905

Click on image to enlarge.
Belt Clasp
Henry Wilson, 1905
The Victoria & Albert Museum

I have a special fondness for the work of the jeweler Henry Wilson (1864-1934). Wilson’s jewelry is exceptional both for its form as well as the quality of the enameling and gem selection. He tended toward interesting color combinations and chose stones with only the richest colors. Wilson, a former architect (like many jewelers of his time) designed pieces which resonated with sculptural and architectural qualities, achieving a three-dimensionality which was unknown until that point. 

This is one of the most unusual pieces of Wilson’s that I’ve seen. This silver belt clasp was made in three parts. It is set with amethysts, garnets, williamsite (a green mineral), moonstones, agate, chalcedony and cat's-eye quartz. The central piece is adorned with sprays. Dating to 1905, this clasp was made to be worn on a variety of belts. 

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