Friday, May 16, 2014

Gifts of Grandeur: The Fabergé Star Bangle, 1908-1913

Bangle of gold, a star sapphire and ruby
c. 1908
The Victoria & Albert Museum

In 1882, Fabergé showed archaeological-style jewelry at the Pan-Russian Industrial Exhibition in Moscow.   The display was a triumph and visitors to the Exhibition were vocal in their adoration of these pieces, which were based on the Greek jewelry in the Hermitage.

Among the most celebrated of the pieces on display was this bangle bracelet of gold which is set, at the terminals, with a large pale star sapphire and a vivid star ruby.  The stones, both natural, display a white star, due to refraction, when held up to the light.

Her Majesty, Queen Mary, consort of King George V, was a great fan of this style of bracelet and amassed many similar pieces in her monumental collection of jewels.  

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