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  • Place of origin:

    Covent Garden (made)

  • Date:

    1867 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Firm of John Brogden (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Enamelled gold, hung with cameos of chalcedony and onyx

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs Harriet Bolckow

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 20, shelf B, box 1

This necklace, in the archaeological style, has contemporary layered agate cameos inspired by fashionable classical hardstone gems.

It was made by the jeweller John Brogden and purchased from the International Exhibition in Paris of 1867. He won a number of awards at the International Exhibitions in London and Paris from 1851-1878. Brogden is known to have looked to the finds at Nineveh and Pompeian wall paintings for sources. He also worked in the Rennaissance style. The industrialist Henry Bolckow (1806-78) visited the Paris Exhibition and bought this necklace for his second wife Harriet. Henry Bolkcow (1806-78) , a naturalised German, had made his fortune in the iron industry. He became the first mayor of Middlesborough, a member of Parliament and a local philanthropist. Harriet Bolkcow survived her husband and on her death in 1890, left a group of assorted jewels and her collection of lace to the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A).

This V&A also holds 'The Brogden Album' (E.2-1986) which contains 1,593 designs for jewellery and goldsmith's work, mainly in colour and dating between 1848 and 1884. It is a unique record of the years in which John Brogden, an internationally celebrated 'art goldsmith and jeweller worked first in partnership and then as owner-director of his own firm. This was a period of great diversity in fashionable jewellery, and the Brogden firm where noted for their skill in designing and creating a range of styles.

The firm was founded by John Brogden the elder in about 1796. From about 1824 to 1831 it was styled 'Brogden and Garland' and thereafter until 1841 'Garland and Watherston'. The younger Brogden, the son of Thomas Brogden and presumably a relative of the founder, served an apprenticeship to J.W. garland as a goldsmith and jeweller from 1834 to 1841. Following Garland's departure, the remaining partner, J.H. Watherston, removed the firm to new premises at 16 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden and in 1848 joined forces with the younger Brogden.

Physical description

Enamelled gold necklace, hung with cameos of classical masks in layered agate. In the late 18th century Neoclassical manner. Applied plaque with maker's mark of John Brogden, 'JB' in Roman capitals.

Place of Origin

Covent Garden (made)


1867 (made)


Firm of John Brogden (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Enamelled gold, hung with cameos of chalcedony and onyx

Marks and inscriptions

'JB' in Roman capitals
Applied plaque with the mark of John Brogden of Henrietta Street, Covent Garden.


Length: 39.8 cm unclasped, Height: 18 cm, Width: 20.2 cm, Depth: 0.8 cm

Object history note

Applied plaque with the mark of John Brogden of Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, JB in Roman capitals. Shown by Brogden at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867.

Descriptive line

Necklace with cameos of antique masks. England, London, 1867. Made by John Brogden (died 1884). Enamelled gold with layered agate cameos. Exhibited and bought at the International Exhibition, Paris, 1867.


Gold; Enamel; Chalcedony; Onyx

Subjects depicted

Cameos; Classicism; Masks




Metalwork Collection

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