Friday, November 15, 2013

Mastery of Design: The Henry Wilson Choker, 1910

Necklace of Seed Pearls, Emeralds, Star Rubies, Moonstone and Enamel
Henry Wilson, ca. 1910
The Victoria & Albert Museum

The famed Arts and Crafts jeweler Henry Wilson's (1864-1934) was celebrated for its brilliant color combinations worked in stones and enamel as well as its natural sculptural qualities.  Wilson, after training as an architect, became interested in metalwork in the 1890s, and went on to teach at the Royal College of Art.   He later penned a practical manual “Silverwork and Jewellery” in 1903 wherein he encouraged his students to “feed his imagination on old work,” and incorporate historical themes.

This necklace is a great example of Wilson’s sensibilities.  Here, we see that the back as well as the front of the central pendant is decorated with enamel in the manner of Renaissance jewelry.  The necklace of gold is set with star rubies, emeralds, moonstones, emamel, seed pearls and pearl drops and adorned with an enameled plaque of a running stag.

The necklace was made by Wilson in Kent around 1910.

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