Ring Brooch thumbnail 1
Ring Brooch thumbnail 2
+7
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Ring Brooch

c. 1225-75 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Brooches were used to fasten garments together, usually around the neck. The ring brooch is the most common type of medieval brooch to have survived, and is found in a wide range of sizes and decoration. From around 1250, the fashionable new Gothic style included naturalistic leaves, fruit and flowers. These appeared in sculpture and decoration throughout Europe. In this brooch an applied wreath of grapes and vine-leaves has been set to wind around the tall collets (or collars) holding the gems. The result enhances the visual impact of the stones; garnets and sapphires were often used together to contrast their brilliant red and blue tones.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold, garnet, sapphire, niello
Brief Description
Ring brooch, gold, set with garnets and sapphires, France, 1225 -75
Physical Description
Ring brooch, gold, garnet, sapphire, niello.The obverse fitted with eight high settings, now fitted with six garnets (two garnets missing), and four sapphires in double settings, all embellished with a wreath of applied stylized vine-leaves and bunches of grapes in cut and stamped work. The reverse decorated with a band of foliage on a niello ground.
Dimensions
  • Diameter: 5.4cm
  • Width: 1.5cm
Subjects depicted
Summary
Brooches were used to fasten garments together, usually around the neck. The ring brooch is the most common type of medieval brooch to have survived, and is found in a wide range of sizes and decoration. From around 1250, the fashionable new Gothic style included naturalistic leaves, fruit and flowers. These appeared in sculpture and decoration throughout Europe. In this brooch an applied wreath of grapes and vine-leaves has been set to wind around the tall collets (or collars) holding the gems. The result enhances the visual impact of the stones; garnets and sapphires were often used together to contrast their brilliant red and blue tones.
Bibliographic References
  • Lightbown, Ronald. Medieval European Jewellery: with a catalogue of the collection in the Victoria & Albert Museum. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 1992, cat. 8, p. 493.
  • Campbell, Marian, Medieval Jewellery in Europe 1100-1500, London, V&A Publishing, 2009, p. 59, fig. 59
Collection
Accession Number
547-1897

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record createdDecember 15, 1999
Record URL