Necklace

1835-1840 (made)
Necklace thumbnail 1
Necklace thumbnail 2
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

Turquoise was used in profusion in jewellery of the 19th century. The bright blue colour echoed forget-me-nots, which signified true love in the language of flowers used in sentimental jewellery. It was also traditionally believed to protect its wearer from danger. It was a popular gift to bridesmaids, often in the form of turquoise doves. In 1840, Queen Victoria gave her twelve bridesmaids turquoise brooches in the shape of a Coburg eagle, a reference to Prince Albert's family.

The motif of the snake swallowing its tail is often found in turquoise jewellery. This ancient symbol, known as the ouroboros, symbolised eternity and can be found as a token of love and in mourning jewellery. The serpent motif was most fashionable in the 1840s. Queen Victoria wore a serpent bracelet to her first council meeting in 1837 and was given a serpent and emerald engagement ring by Prince Albert.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Silver and gold, pavé-set with turquoises, with rubies, pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds
Brief Description
Serpent necklace, silver and gold, pavé-set with turquoises, with rubies, pearls and diamonds, probably made in England, about 1835-40
Physical Description
Serpent necklace, silver and gold, pave-set with turquoises, with rubies, pearls and brilliant-cut diamonds.
Dimensions
  • Height: 14cm
  • Width: 13cm
  • Depth: 1.4cm
Credit line
Cory Bequest
Subject depicted
Summary
Turquoise was used in profusion in jewellery of the 19th century. The bright blue colour echoed forget-me-nots, which signified true love in the language of flowers used in sentimental jewellery. It was also traditionally believed to protect its wearer from danger. It was a popular gift to bridesmaids, often in the form of turquoise doves. In 1840, Queen Victoria gave her twelve bridesmaids turquoise brooches in the shape of a Coburg eagle, a reference to Prince Albert's family.



The motif of the snake swallowing its tail is often found in turquoise jewellery. This ancient symbol, known as the ouroboros, symbolised eternity and can be found as a token of love and in mourning jewellery. The serpent motif was most fashionable in the 1840s. Queen Victoria wore a serpent bracelet to her first council meeting in 1837 and was given a serpent and emerald engagement ring by Prince Albert.
Collection
Accession Number
M.58-1951

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record createdAugust 19, 2005
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