Marion Saba, 1994
The Victoria & Albert Museum
Every once in awhile, I will throw in a contemporary piece of jewelry just to keep things interesting. This, however, is the newest I’ve ever posted--made in 1994. But, you see, this brooch is haunting me. It’s everywhere! Every time I look up something, up pops this brooch. I’ve also been helping to catalog online images for the V&A and each time I log-in, here comes this brooch. It wants my attention. So, by gosh, here’s some attention!
Here, we see a brooch anchored by a large amethyst carved to resemble folds of drapery. It is encircled by a spiraling column of gold which wraps, like fabric, around the stone then continues below. A matte surface on the gold contrasts with the polished edges of the folds along the ridges of the spiral. The whole is punctuated with seven diamonds which are set at random.
The work of Mario Saba, this brooch is considered, rightfully, to be a masterpiece. Saba began his career as an apprentice at Bulgari, the great jewelry house in Rome. Later, in London, Saba worked as an independent designer, opening a shop in Sloane Street in 1980 and later moving to Hatton Garden.