Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gifts of Grandeur: The Hull Grundy Bodice Ornament, c. 1650

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Hull Grundy Bodice Ornament
Spain, Seventeenth Century
The British Museum

This bodice ornament of gold is set with table-cut emeralds and diamonds. The upper section of the piece features an openwork design in a bow form incorporating foliate tendrils and volutes. This is hinged to a section which works the initial “S” in pierced openwork.

The reverse of the jewel is enameled in pink and black on a ground of white in a floral pattern.

At one point, this piece was in the collection of Dame Joan Evans, but ended up in the catalogue of the Hull Grundys who presented this as part of a large gift to the British Museum. It’s believed that the ornament has significance to a Spanish religious confraternity.

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