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Plaster cast

Plaster cast

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (probably, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1930 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Cast plaster

  • Credit Line:

    Given by an anonymous donor

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 49, shelf 10

Beginning in the Nineteenth Century and continuing well into the Twentieth, plaster casts of jewellery were kept as a three-dimensional record for the manufacturer of each piece of jewellery they made. Only a small proportion of the number that must have been made survive. The annotations on them, although often only partially legible, make clear their position at the centre of the design and manufacturing process - as an archival record but also as a source of ideas for subsequent designs. In this case the cast has been taken before the stones were mounted into their settings, giving a clear view of the intricate metal structure which forms the basis of the piece but which would be almost completely hidden by gemstones on completion. On completion, with its densely-packed gemstones and geometric design, it would have been typical of brooches made in the years around 1930.

Physical description

An irregular and slightly extended semi-circle of greying plaster, bearing in relief the impressions of a geometric art deco brooch in unfinished state before the gemstones were set into their mounts. In the centre is the front view of the brooch, and around it the four side aspects are preserved. There are short annotations in pencil and pink ink on both the back and front. A short section of fine wire is attached at the top for suspension.

Place of Origin

Paris (probably, made)


ca. 1930 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Cast plaster

Marks and inscriptions

'R/7484 DP 1002 - 6/38 ....BB55 CB'
Not all the short inscriptions are legible and some of the above letters are ambiguous. The handwriting is unclear and rubbed away in parts.


Height: 6 cm, Width: 8.5 cm, Depth: 1 cm

Object history note

The brooch was bought by the donor's daughter, Jo Whalley of the V&A's Conservation Department, from the dealers Aria in San Francisco, in 2004. They had acquired the cast, with others, in Paris.

Descriptive line

Paris ca.1930





Subjects depicted



Jewellery; Metalwork


Metalwork Collection

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