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Brooch - 'Lace Ascot'

'Lace Ascot'

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United States (made)

  • Date:

    1980 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fisch, Arline M. Professor (designed and made by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Knitted silver wire.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr Robert Fisch

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 38, shelf B, box 4

The pioneer in adapting textile techniques to metals was the American jeweller and teacher Arline Fisch. She is particularly known for her light and airy knitted pieces. In the 1970s she worked in silver or gold wire, and from the 1980s in colourful coated copper wire.

Arline Fisch’s interest in textiles goes back to her childhood, and was revived when she first began to teach in 1957. By the mid-seventies Fisch explored the boundaries of jewellery and clothing with her knitted, braided or woven body adornments or wearable body art. At first she knitted the wires by hand but ater used a loom. In 1975 she wrote a book, which has since been reprinted, explaining the various techniques she has become renowned for: " Textile Techniques in Metal for Jewelers, Sculptors and Textile Artists" (New York, 1975).

Fisch travelled extensively and her first inspiration was Egyptian jewellery, but even more important was her fascination for Pre-Columbian textiles. She studied cultures and their artefacts worldwide, however the Mediterranean cultures, Viking and Celtic metalwork and Elizabethan ruff collars particularly caught her interest.

The cravat brooch here, is in fact, inspired by a 17th-century ‘lace’ cravat of carved limewood by Grinling Gibbons in the V&A’s collection and transformed into subtle and pliable wires, almost like a textile.

For decades Arline Fisch has taught generations of young artist jewellers and been at the forefront of American contemporary jewellery.

Physical description

Large brooch of loosely-knitted silver wire in the shape of a cravat. A pin fastening is concealed behind the bow at the top of the brooch.

Place of Origin

United States (made)


1980 (made)


Fisch, Arline M. Professor (designed and made by)

Materials and Techniques

Knitted silver wire.


Height: 28 cm, Width: 23.5 cm, Depth: 4 cm

Object history note

Inspired by a 17th century 'lace' cravat of carved limewood by Grinling Gibbons in the V&A's collection.

Descriptive line

Knitted silver wire brooch, designed and made by Arline Fisch, 1980; USA.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

David McFadden, Ida Rigby, Robert Bell, Elegant Fantasy. The Jewelry of Arline Fisch, Stuttgart 1999,






Metalwork Collection

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