Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Home Beautiful: The King Edward VII Jewel Casket, 1909

Silver-Gilt and Enamel Jewel Casket
Presented to King Edward VII, 1909
The Victoria & Albert Museum

This jewel casket was presented to King Edward VII by the Mayor, Aldermen and councilors of the Royal Borough of Kensington as a gift in honor of His Majesty’s visit to the borough to open new buildings at the V&A in 1909.

The “new buildings,” illustrated on the enamel plaque of the case, refer specifically to the Cromwell Road extension to the V&A which was designed by the architect Aston Webb. When this extension opened, “The Daily Chronicle” noted that the opening was “the only bright spot in a week of unspeakable weather … actually the sun shone with special ardour when His Majesty spoke the words which pronounced the museum open forever.” The Daily Telegraph described this gift that was presented to the King as “ golden casket of exquisite workmanship.”

The silver gilt casket is heavily chased, adorned with enamel plaques depicting the building project and surmounted by a finial in the shape of the Royal Crest. It was designed by Charles Stephen Worrall for The Goldsmiths’ and Silversmiths’ Co., Ltd. 

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