Tiara thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 72, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries

Tiara

ca. 1808 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

By tradition this piece, part of a set, is believed to have belonged to Caroline Murat (1782-1839), Queen of Naples. Their accompanying leather box is stamped with a crowned 'C' in gold.

Documentary evidence in the archives of the Opificio in Florence and in the archives in Naples suggest that this parure, or set of jewelry, may have been produced in either centre. Hardstone mosaic techniques emerged in Florence, where Ferdinand de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, founded the Grand Ducal Workshop (Opificio delle Pietre Dure) in 1588. It still operates today under the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pietre dure, lapis lazuli, chalcedony, gold; the 'pearls' made from half-beads of rock crystal, set with the flat surface up, and the underside apparently coated with silver leaf
Brief Description
Pietre dure set: Tiara. Naples or Florence, ca. 1808.
Physical Description
Gold tiara set with four lapis lazuli plaques inset with shells and pearls in pietre dure mosaic.
Dimensions
  • . length: 14.6cm
Gallery Label
  • 2. Necklace, comb, earrings and tiara with shells About 1808 This jewellery probably belonged to Caroline Murat (1782–1839), Queen of Naples. The original case with the crowned letter ‘C’ is also part of the Gilbert’s collection. The ‘pearls’ are made from rock crystal half-beads. Set with their flat surfaces up, their curved underside is coated in silver leaf. Naples or Florence, Italy Gold, with pietre dure (hardstone mosaic) panels of lapis lazuli and chalcedony Museum nos. Loan:Gilbert.165 to 168:1, 2-2008(16/11/2016)
  • Necklace, comb, earrings and tiara with shells About 1808 This jewellery is believed to have belonged to Caroline Murat (1782–1839), Queen of Naples. Naples or Florence, Italy Gold, with pietre dure (hardstone mosaic) panels of lapis lazuli and chalcedony Museum nos. Loan:Gilbert.165 to 168:1, 2-2008(2009)
Credit line
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Object history
Provenance: Probably Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples. Delessert family. Marthe Bocher. Jacques Kugel, Paris, 1975.
Production
Documentary evidence in the archives of the Opificio in Florence and in the archives in Naples both suggest that the parure may have been produced in either centre.
Subjects depicted
Summary
By tradition this piece, part of a set, is believed to have belonged to Caroline Murat (1782-1839), Queen of Naples. Their accompanying leather box is stamped with a crowned 'C' in gold.



Documentary evidence in the archives of the Opificio in Florence and in the archives in Naples suggest that this parure, or set of jewelry, may have been produced in either centre. Hardstone mosaic techniques emerged in Florence, where Ferdinand de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, founded the Grand Ducal Workshop (Opificio delle Pietre Dure) in 1588. It still operates today under the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage.



Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.
Associated Objects
Bibliographic References
  • Gonzalez-Palacios, Alvar. The Art of Mosaics: Selections from the Gilbert Collection, Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1977. 143 p., ill. Cat. no. 30. ISBN 0875870805.
  • Gonzalez-Palacios, Alvar and Steffi Röttgen with essays by Steffi Röttgen, Claudia Przyborowski; essays and new catalogue material translated by Alla Theodora Hall. The Art of Mosaics: Selections from the Gilbert Collection. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1982. 224 p., ill. Cat. no. 32. ISBN 0875871097
  • Wheeler, Daniel, ed. with introduction by Alexis Gregory. Princely Taste: Treasures from Great Private Collections. Exhibition catalogue, Jerusalem: Israel Museum, vol. 369, 1995, p. 77.
  • Catalogue for Designers West, 1987, p.77.
  • Giusti, Anna Maria, Pietre Dure: L'arte europea del mosaico negli arredi e nelle decorazioni dal 1500 al 1800. Turin: Allemandi, 1992, pp. 235, 246.
  • Gonzalez-Palacios, Alvar, Mosaici e pietre dure, Mosaici a piccole tessere. Milan: Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri 1982, pp. 69-70.
  • Lenti, Lia, and Bergesio, Maria Cristina. Dizionario del Gioiello Italiano del XIX e XX Secolo. Turin: Allemandi, 2006, p.77.
  • Arte e Manifattura di corte a Firenze dal tramonto dei Medici all'Impero (1732-1815). Exhibition Catalogue. Florence: Palazzo Pitti/Palazzina della Meridiana 2006, pp. 252, 253, no. 170 and images.
  • Giusti, Anna Maria. Pietre Dure and the Art of Florentine Inlay. London: Thames & Hudson 2006, p.216, pl. 173.
  • Massinelli, Anna Maria. The Gilbert Collection Hardstones. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Limited 2000, cat. no. 87, pp.201-202.
  • Koeppe, Wolfram and Annamaria Giusti.with contributions by Cristina Acidini ... [et al.] ; edited by Wolfram Koeppe. Art of the Royal Court. Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe.. New York : Metropolitan Museum of Art ; New Haven ; London : Yale University Press, c2008. P. 317, cat. no. 125.
Other Numbers
  • MM 186C - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • 1996.852 - The Gilbert Collection, Somerset House
Collection
Accession Number
LOAN:GILBERT.167-2008

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record createdJune 19, 2008
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