Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mastery of Design: The Countess Gautier Brooch, 1830

Brooch, 1830
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Here, we see a beautiful brooch of gold set with an emerald, turquoises and topazes in the form of a basket of flowers. Though the maker’s mark is unidentifiable, a Paris warranty mark for 1819-38 is clearly seen.

Jewelry of the 1830s often represented Naturalistic themes. As the V&A’s curators puts it, “A love of nature was one of the most universal and respected sentiments in the 19th century.” This Naturalistic theme was influenced by the Romantic movement and the revived Rococo style.

This is a transitional design. Until about 1830, such designs were delicately stylized, but later, more exact representations of flowers, leaves, fruit and insects became the basis for more elaborate pieces. 

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