Bodice Ornaments thumbnail 1
Bodice Ornaments thumbnail 2
+3
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Jewellery, Rooms 91, The William and Judith Bollinger Gallery

Bodice Ornaments

ca. 1760 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

These two bow brooches are from a set of three. The bows would have been worn together: the largest on the front of the bodice, the smaller bows on the shoulders. It is rare for such magnificent diamond jewellery to survive intact, because succeeding generations tended to melt it down and re-make it in the latest fashion.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Bodice Ornament
  • Bodice Ornament
Materials and Techniques
Brilliant-cut diamonds set in silver
Brief Description
Pair of diamond bow brooches, silver set with brilliant-cut diamonds, from a set of three, perhaps made in Russia, about 1760
Physical Description
Pair of diamond bow brooches, silver set with brilliant-cut diamonds. From a set of three, with M.93-1951.
Credit line
Cory Bequest
Object history
These two bows form part of a set with a larger bow (M.93-1951). The relative sizes of the bows, one larger bow with two smaller ones of approximately equal size, suggest that the large bow would have been worn as a breast ornament, with one bow worn on each shoulder.



A Russian origin has been suggested for the bows, as is the case for other items in Lady Cory's bequest. They are not listed in the Diamond Fund catalogue compiled at the order of the Bolshevik government and they were not amongst that part of the Russian royal jewellery sold by a syndicate at Christie's on 16 March 1927. However, Dr. S. A. Amelekhina (State Museums of the Moscow Kremlin) states that the Diamond Fund Catalogue is known to have been incomplete.



The present brooch fittings are later. The bows may originally have been mounted on vertical pins, like examples in the Diamond Fund in the Kremlin (illustrated in Olga W. Gorewa et al., Joyaux du Trésor de Russie, Paris, 1990, p. 51). Dr Amelekhina notes that there were six bows mounted on pins listed in the 1865 inventory of the Diamond Room of the Winter Palace, St Petersburg (Russian State Historical Archive, St Petersburg, complex of documents 468, inventory 43, units 1026 and 1027.

Subject depicted
Summary
These two bow brooches are from a set of three. The bows would have been worn together: the largest on the front of the bodice, the smaller bows on the shoulders. It is rare for such magnificent diamond jewellery to survive intact, because succeeding generations tended to melt it down and re-make it in the latest fashion.
Associated Object
M.93-1951 (Set)
Collection
Accession Number
M.94&A-1951

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 createdFebruary 3, 2003
Record URL