Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: The Cory Pearl Tassel Necklace, 1855

Indian-inspired Enameled Gold Necklace with Pearl Tassels
Donated by Lady Cory to:
The Victoria & Albert Museum

The design of the necklace, particularly the pearl tassels, is an excellent example for the fashion of Indian-inspired jewelry which arose from the 1851 Great Exhibition.

Visitors to the Great Exhibition went wild for the Indian jewelry which was displayed.
  These Indian gems were praised for their rich appearance which was achieved by combining enameled gold with dense settings of pearls and colored stones.

This gold necklace, made in Britain in 1855, is enameled in black with links set with pearls. Pearl tassels define the style, based on examples from India.
  In the court of Queen Victoria, courtiers were eager to show off such jewels in order to demonstrate to Prince Albert the impact of the Great Exhibition on British style.  This necklace is part of the important collection of jewels amassed by Lady Cory. 

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