Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: The Catherine the Great Pendant, 1790

Russian, 1790
Made for Catherine, The Grest
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Made in 1790 by an unknown Russian jeweler this pendant of diamonds set in silver takes the form of an egg suspended from a Russian crown. The pendant is also mounted with vertical rows of gold beads. As a surprise, the egg unscrews at its widest point and reveals the monogram of Catherine the Great--set in diamonds on a blue glass ground.

This masterpiece is thought to have been presented by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia from 1762-1796, to a member of her court, almost certainly at Easter. Ah, the Russians and their jeweled Easter eggs! Compared to others, this one is rather modest. But, I still wouldn’t return it if it was given to me. 

No comments: