Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Year's Honor: Badge of the Order of Victoria & Albert, 1864

Badge of the Order of Victoria & Albert
Sardonyx with Diamonds, Silver, Enamel, Rubies
and Emeralds.
The Royal Collection

This magnificent badge with its cameo of the jugate heads (two portraits set side-by-side) of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert was given to Princess Alexandra of Denmark by Queen Victoria on the day of Alexandra’s wedding to the Prince of Wales (later, King Edward VII). Alexandra proudly wore the badge on her wedding gown. Not only was it a sign of approval from her future mother-in-law, the Queen of England, but it also marked her appointment to the Royal Order of Victoria & Albert, an important achievement.

The cameo of sardonyx was created in 1862 by Tommaso Saulini, and Italian artist known for his exquisite cameo work. The frame, made in 1864, features a row of small diamonds around the cameo which is surrounded by a border of twenty-one very large brilliant cuts. The frame is surmounted by a diamond-set suspension loop atop a royal crown of red enamel set with diamonds, rubies and emeralds.

This piece retains the original ribbon from which Queen Alexandra wore it on her wedding day. 

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