Friday, December 28, 2012

Mastery of Design: “The Oriental Circlet,” 1853

The Oriental Circlet
R. & S. Garrard & Co., 1853
Commissioned by Prince Albert
Gold, Diamonds and Rubies
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Following the Great Exhibition in 1850, Queen Victoria was presented with magnificent jewels from the East India Company. Both Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert were enchanted by the exotic designs of the gems she was given. Those gems inspired Prince Albert to commission the Royal Jewelers at R. and S. Garrard and Co. to create this diamond and ruby tiara for his wife. The circlet features a design of diamond-encrusted “Moghul” arches in an Indian style which surround diamond lotus flowers set with rubies.

Prince Albert often supervised the design of Queen Victoria’s jewels. She once wrote in her diary, “Albert has such taste and arranges everything for me about my jewels.” Having researched Queen Victoria’s enormous collection of jewels for many years, I will concur with the Queen’s assessment. Albert did an excellent job.

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