Diadem

ca. 1808 (made)
Diadem thumbnail 1
Diadem thumbnail 2
+2
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold diadem, decorated with enamel and mounted with carnelian intaglios
Brief Description
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
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
Dimensions
  • Height: 7.0cm
  • Depth: 0.7cm
  • Diameter: 16cm
Style
Credit line
Private Collection
Object history
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.
Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
LOAN:MET ANON.97-1968

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record createdAugust 1, 2007
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