Spray Ornament thumbnail 1
Spray Ornament thumbnail 2
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images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Spray Ornament

ca. 1750-1770 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This jewelled spray of flowers would have been worn in the hair or attached to the bodice of a gown. Flowers were a fashionable theme in jewellery during the second half of the 18th century, and could form large and intricate compositions. This piece was originally part of the Russian Imperial Collection. Following the revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik government sold it to a syndicate who offered it for auction in London in 1927. It was subsequently acquired by Jane, Lady Cory, one of the most important benefactors of the jewellery collections at the V&A.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Rubies and diamonds set in gold and silver, with enamelled stem
Brief Description
Flower brooch, rubies and brilliant-cut diamonds set in gold and silver, decorated with enamel, made in Russia, about 1750-70
Physical Description
Probably originally a hair ornament or a bodice ornament. The present brooch fitting is later. Rubies and brilliant-cut diamonds set in gold and silver, decorated with enamel.
Dimensions
  • Height: 12.3cm
  • Width: 6.7cm
  • Depth: 3.5cm
Style
Credit line
Cory Bequest
Object history
The spray was probably originally an ornament for the hair or the bodice.



It was in the Russian royal collections. In 1796 it was in the chamber of the Empress Catherine II (Russian state historical archive, St Petersburg, complex of documents 468, inventory 5, unit 181: information from Dr. S. A. Amelekhina). It presumably was moved from St Petersburg to Moscow at the outbreak of the First World War. It was described as an 'outstanding magnificent object' in the Diamond Fund Catalogue ( Moscow, 4th issue, 1925, no. 157, table LXXXIII, photograph 185), commissioned by the Bolshevik goverment. The catalogue records it as having been in the inventory of 1898 (no. 187/188) and in the inventory of 1922 (no. 476/1870).



It was included in the sale of 'Russian State Jewels' purchased by a syndicate from the Bolshevik government and offered for auction at Christie's, London, on 16 March 1927 (lot 83). It was bought by Franklin for £370. It was bequeathed to the V&A by Jane, Lady Cory, who died in 1947.







Subject depicted
Summary
This jewelled spray of flowers would have been worn in the hair or attached to the bodice of a gown. Flowers were a fashionable theme in jewellery during the second half of the 18th century, and could form large and intricate compositions. This piece was originally part of the Russian Imperial Collection. Following the revolution of 1917, the Bolshevik government sold it to a syndicate who offered it for auction in London in 1927. It was subsequently acquired by Jane, Lady Cory, one of the most important benefactors of the jewellery collections at the V&A.
Collection
Accession Number
M.85-1951

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record createdFebruary 3, 2003
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