Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Gifts of Grandeur: A Sapphire Cloak Clasp, 1914

Cloak Clasp
Henry Wilson, 1914
The Victoria & Albert Museum

A beautiful combination of gold with cloisonné enamel, cabachon sapphires, emeralds, pearls and seed pearls, this cloak clasp is by Henry Wilson whose jewelry is celebrated for its rich color combinations in stones and enamel, and applauded for its sculptural qualities.

Wilson’s work is considered the apex of Arts and Crafts design. Like C.R. Ashbee, Wilson originally trained as an architect, but became interested in metals and precious stones in the early 1890s. After learning his craft, he went on to teach at the Royal College of Art where he published a practical manual called, “Silverwork and Jewellery” in 1903.

Like many Arts and Crafts designers, Wilson was influenced by nature. This is evidenced in the leaf motif of the clasp.

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