Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mastery of Design: A Gold and Diamond Bodice Ornament, 1700

Bodice Ornament
Spanish, 1700
Gold, Rose-Cut Diamonds
The Victoria & Albert Museum

Curling acanthus leaves form the basis of the magnificent gold bodice ornament which was held by means of two flat hooks at the top of the bodice. Over the hundred diamonds in substantial gold mounts, offer movement and sparkle to the piece. Five large rose-cut diamonds accent the front of this Spanish ornament.

The work is delicate and intricate with fine engraving on the leaves and the drums which holds the largest diamonds.

This impressive bodice ornament came from the Treasury of the Cathedral of the Virgin of the Pillar, Zaragoza among a group of jewels purchased by the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1870, when the Cathedral, in an effort to fund a building project, auctioned off treasures presented to the shrine of the Virgin.

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