Not currently on display at the V&A

Necklace

1979 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This simple yet dramatic necklace, made from a single piece of metal sheet, is a striking example of fashion jewellery from the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines excellent design with innovative materials, and indicates the growing acceptance of non-precious materials by jewellery schools and colleges (in this case the Royal College of Art), and their successful adoption by young jewellers.

Although no longer designing jewellery, Valerie Robertson's work was very highly regarded at the time, and similar work was commissioned from her by Zandra Rhodes for her Spring/Summer Collection 1980.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Brass-coloured metal sheet set with iridescent plastic foil
Brief Description
Necklace, made from a single piece of metal sheet, with central panel of silvery iridescent plastic foil, Valerie Roberson, 1979
Physical Description
A close fitting necklace made from a single piece of metal sheet, curved to follow the shape of the neck. It comes to a point at centre front and tapers towards the back. The central panel is of silvery iridescent plastic foil, which shimmers with green, blue, pink and purple. There is a safety chain at the back.
Dimensions
  • Length: 14.6cm
  • Width: 10.3cm
  • Height: 4.3cm
Marks and Inscriptions
'VR' in an oval punch (Maker's identification; On the inside, back left)
Credit line
Given by Janine du Plessis
Object history
Valerie Robertson graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1979 and this necklace, which relates directly to the work shown in her degree show, was made immediately afterwards. The donor, as Fashion Editor for the magazine New Style, used it in a fashion shoot in the September / October issue (pp 19 - 22) where its retail price is given as £25. It is shown with clothes designed by John McIntyre from fabric by Timney Fowler (they were also new graduates from the Royal College of Art, and exceptionally for degree show material these ensembles were taken by Browns of South Molton Street). Valerie Robertson's jewellery is detailed as being available at Strangeways, 3 Holland Street, a boutique then managed by the donor. The following year Zandra Rhodes commissioned work in a similar style and the same materials for her Spring / Summer Collection 1980 (see Farneti Cera, Deanna Jewels of Fantasy p.349).
Summary
This simple yet dramatic necklace, made from a single piece of metal sheet, is a striking example of fashion jewellery from the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines excellent design with innovative materials, and indicates the growing acceptance of non-precious materials by jewellery schools and colleges (in this case the Royal College of Art), and their successful adoption by young jewellers.



Although no longer designing jewellery, Valerie Robertson's work was very highly regarded at the time, and similar work was commissioned from her by Zandra Rhodes for her Spring/Summer Collection 1980.
Bibliographic Reference
Du Plessis, ed. CHA CHA 2000. New Style. September / October 1979. pp19-22
Collection
Accession Number
M.50-2003

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record createdDecember 1, 2003
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