Bracelet Clasps thumbnail 1
Bracelet Clasps 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

Bracelet Clasps

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

Bracelets at this date were usually worn in pairs. These clasps would have been worn one on each wrist, providing an elaborate fastening for the bracelets, which probably consisted of several strings of large pearls. The clasps were traditionally linked with Queen Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), consort of Louis XVI of France, but the initials do not appear to be MA, and a ring in the Bourbon Parma family jewels (Sotheby's Geneva, 14 November 2018, lot 92) has a monogram of MA in diamonds of a different form.

One of the clasps bears a monogram and the other a trophy of love with doves, a quiver of arrows and a hymeneal torch (named after Hymen, the Greek god of marriage).


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

  • Bracelet Clasp
  • Bracelet Clasp
Materials and Techniques
Gold with brilliant cut diamonds, central plaques of blue paste (glass)
Brief Description
Pair of ornaments, possibly bracelet clasps, gold with central plaques of blue paste (glass) decorated with brilliant-cut diamonds, made in France, about 1770
Physical Description
Pair of ornaments, possibly bracelet clasps, gold with central plaques of blue paste (glass) ornamented with brilliant-cut diamonds. Later converted into brooches.
Style
Credit line
Given by Dame Joan Evans
Object history
The monogram was once read as being that of Marie Antoinette, but this reading is no longer accepted.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Bracelets at this date were usually worn in pairs. These clasps would have been worn one on each wrist, providing an elaborate fastening for the bracelets, which probably consisted of several strings of large pearls. The clasps were traditionally linked with Queen Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), consort of Louis XVI of France, but the initials do not appear to be MA, and a ring in the Bourbon Parma family jewels (Sotheby's Geneva, 14 November 2018, lot 92) has a monogram of MA in diamonds of a different form.



One of the clasps bears a monogram and the other a trophy of love with doves, a quiver of arrows and a hymeneal torch (named after Hymen, the Greek god of marriage).
Bibliographic Reference
Tilles, Rebecca; 'La corbeille de mariage de la dauphine en 1770 : le premier serre-bijoux de Marie-Antoinette', Bulletin du Centre de recherche du château de Versailles, December 2015
Collection
Accession Number
M.51&A-1962

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record createdFebruary 10, 2003
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