Head Band thumbnail 1
Head Band thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 1

Head Band

1700-1799 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This object is a bridal headband from the Egerland, a German-speaking area in the north-east part of the Czech Republic. The pendant leaves were deliberately hung loosely from their mounts, so that they flickered when worn, reflecting the light and making a noise like bells. This was intended to deflect any potential evil from the bride, and demonstrates the survival of a belief dating back to medieval times.

It was given to the museum in 1908, together with some other Dalmatian traditional jewellery, by Aymer Vallance, a leading member of the Oxford Movement in the 19th century, and a supporter of William Morris’ Arts and Crafts. It was originally described as a Norwegian belt, probably due to the numerous leaf-shaped pendants.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Cardboard covered with plain woven textile, probably silk (once red, now cream), to which has been applied a silk velvet ribbon (once black now brown), with gilt metal appliqués. Almost all of the pile has been lost from the velvet, except behind where the motifs are sewn.
Brief description
Stiff head band with gilt metal appliqués and leaf-shaped pendants (Glockenbendel), Egerland (Czech Republic), 18th century. The headband made of stiff material covered with plain woven linen or silk (originally red, now cream) to which a silk velvet ribbon (once black, now brown) has been applied.
Physical description
Band made from a strip of stiff material, covered on the front with black (now faded to a dark brown) velvet, and on the back with cream (formerly red). There are 17 gilt metal appliqués sewn along the front of the band, each with six rounded points, like a snowflake, and with a large hook sticking out at right angles in the centre. Each hook supports a gilt metal leaf-shaped pendant. Two rosettes are sewn, side by side, to each end, each with a large loop at the outer side for fastening.
Dimensions
  • Includes clasps length: 542mm
  • Includes pendant leaves width: 68mm
  • Depth: 24mm
Credit line
Gift of Aymer Vallance
Subject depicted
Summary
This object is a bridal headband from the Egerland, a German-speaking area in the north-east part of the Czech Republic. The pendant leaves were deliberately hung loosely from their mounts, so that they flickered when worn, reflecting the light and making a noise like bells. This was intended to deflect any potential evil from the bride, and demonstrates the survival of a belief dating back to medieval times.



It was given to the museum in 1908, together with some other Dalmatian traditional jewellery, by Aymer Vallance, a leading member of the Oxford Movement in the 19th century, and a supporter of William Morris’ Arts and Crafts. It was originally described as a Norwegian belt, probably due to the numerous leaf-shaped pendants.

Bibliographic references
  • Ritz, Gislind. Alter bäuerlicher Schmuck. München: Verlag Georg D.W.Callwey, 1978. ISBN 3766703838.
  • Nemec, H. Alter Bauernschmuck. Wien/München, Anton Schroll, 1973, reprinted 1992. ISBN 3703103698.
Collection
Accession number
512-1908

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

Record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL
Download as: JSONIIIF Manifest