Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Brooch

  • Place of origin:

    Europe (west, made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1825 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Tortoiseshell, decorated with gold cannetille work, turquoises and a pearl

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rosemary Eve Lawrence

  • Museum number:

    M.25-1996

  • Gallery location:

    Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery, case 16, shelf C, box 9

The Maltese cross is the symbol of an order of Christian warriors known as the Knights Hospitaller or Knights of Malta. A gold Maltese cross was presented to Lady Hamilton, wife of the English Minister to Naples, by the Emperor of Russia. This encouraged a vogue for the Maltese cross and it remained popular in the 1830s and 1840s.

The colourful and flamboyant jewellery of the 1820s and 1830s could be set with up to a dozen different stones within a rich gold and coloured gold framework. Special manufacturing techniques and decorative effects were used to achieve an expensive finish using smaller amounts of gold. Although lightly made, this opulent jewellery looked heavier than earlier Neo-classical work.

The highly ornate filigree work of spirals (cannetille) and granules (grainti) added an appealing relief texture, but it was more popular on mainland Europe than in England, where clients preferred more substantial areas of plain gold.

Physical description

Maltese cross brooch, tortoiseshell, decorated with gold cannetille work, turquoises and a pearl. May have been used as a pendant.

Place of Origin

Europe (west, made)

Date

ca. 1825 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Tortoiseshell, decorated with gold cannetille work, turquoises and a pearl

Dimensions

Height: 4.9 cm, Width: 4.5 cm, Depth: 1.2 cm

Descriptive line

Maltese cross brooch, tortoiseshell, decorated with gold cannetille work, turquoises and a pearl, western Europe, about 1825

Materials

Tortoiseshell; Turquoise; Pearl; Gold

Subjects depicted

Maltese crosses

Categories

Images Online; Jewellery; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.