Necklace thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Necklace

ca.1815-ca.1820 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Cast-iron jewellery was an inexpensive but fashionable novelty for consumers in Europe and America from around 1800 to 1860. Developed in Germany in 1806–7 and often worn during mourning, it became the symbol of Prussian patriotism and resistance to Napoleon I. Women donated gold jewellery to their country in exchange for iron inscribed ‘I gave gold for iron’.

Early Berlin ironwork was Neo-classical in style, using motifs such as acanthus leaves, palmettes and cameos. James Tassie's glass pastes and Josiah Wedgwood's jasperware were copied for portraits and mythological scenes.The jewellery quickly gained an international profile. Demand peaked in the 1830s, when Berlin alone had 27 foundries and manufacture spread to France and Austria.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Iron, steel and gold
Brief Description
Necklace, iron cameos on polished steel mounts set in gold, Germany,ca. 1815-1820.
Physical Description
Necklace, iron cameos on polished steel mounts set in gold on steel mesh ribbon.
Dimensions
  • Fastened height: 14.5cm
  • Fastened width: 17.5cm
  • Unclasped length: 44.5cm
  • Depth: 0.5cm
Credit line
Bequeathed by Mr John George Joicey
Production
Prussia
Subject depicted
Summary
Cast-iron jewellery was an inexpensive but fashionable novelty for consumers in Europe and America from around 1800 to 1860. Developed in Germany in 1806–7 and often worn during mourning, it became the symbol of Prussian patriotism and resistance to Napoleon I. Women donated gold jewellery to their country in exchange for iron inscribed ‘I gave gold for iron’.



Early Berlin ironwork was Neo-classical in style, using motifs such as acanthus leaves, palmettes and cameos. James Tassie's glass pastes and Josiah Wedgwood's jasperware were copied for portraits and mythological scenes.The jewellery quickly gained an international profile. Demand peaked in the 1830s, when Berlin alone had 27 foundries and manufacture spread to France and Austria.
Collection
Accession Number
M.308-1919

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record createdAugust 9, 2005
Record URL