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Diadem

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1808 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold diadem, decorated with enamel and mounted with carnelian intaglios

  • Credit Line:

    Private Collection

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:MET ANON.97-1968

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 54, shelf B, box 1

This Tiara or diadem is part of a Neo-classical parure, or set of jewellery, made of ancient Roman engraved gems. It is said to have been given to the Empress Josephine of France by Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat, who became Queen Consort of Naples in 1808. It is more likely that she simply gave the stones and that Josephine later had them mounted in France.

The 19th century was a period of huge industrial and social change, but in jewellery design the focus was often on the past. In the first decades classical styles were popular, evoking the glories of ancient Greece and Rome. This interest in antiquities was stimulated by fresh archaeological discoveries. Goldsmiths attempted to revive ancient techniques and made jewellery that imitated, or was in the style of, archaeological jewellery.

Physical description

Gold diadem, decorated with enamel and mounted with carnelian intaglios, mostly Roman, 100 BC -200 AD, with some 18th century stones probably carved in Italy

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

ca. 1808 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Gold diadem, decorated with enamel and mounted with carnelian intaglios

Dimensions

Height: 7.0 cm, Depth: 0.7 cm, Diameter: 16 cm

Object history note

This Tiara or diadem is part of a Neo-classical parure, or set of jewellery, made of ancient Roman engraved gems. It is said to have been given to the Empress Josephine of France by Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat, who became Queen Consort of Naples in 1808. It is more likely that she simply gave the stones and that Josephine later had them mounted in France.

Descriptive line

Carnelians set in enamelled gold, Paris, set about 1808, intaglios mostly 100 BC–AD 200, with some 18th-century stones in the diadem, probably carved in Italy

Materials

Gold; Carnelian; Enamel

Techniques

Enamelling

Categories

Jewellery; Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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