Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
South Asia, Room 41

Brooch

ca. 1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Although this brooch was made in India, it shows strong European influence in its design. The brooch is not a traditional Indian ornament type, and the popularity of jewellery in the shape of dragonflies and butterflies reflects European taste. However, the large size and clusters of granules in groups of three around the edges of the wings show the Indian origins of this piece. The cannetille technique, using tightly-curled gold wires with trails of minute gold granules, was fashionable in Europe from the 1820s until it fell out of favor in the1850s, but was widely used in India for much longer.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Gold and gold filigree, set with rubies, turquoise and paste stones
Brief Description
Dragonfly brooch, Madras, about 1850
Physical Description
Brooch in the shape of a dragonfly, gold and gold filigree set with rubies and turquoise on the wings and paste stones on the body
Dimensions
  • Height: 4.9cm
  • Width: 7.2cm
Object history
Transferred in 1879 from the India Museum to the South Kensington Museum, which later became the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Summary
Although this brooch was made in India, it shows strong European influence in its design. The brooch is not a traditional Indian ornament type, and the popularity of jewellery in the shape of dragonflies and butterflies reflects European taste. However, the large size and clusters of granules in groups of three around the edges of the wings show the Indian origins of this piece. The cannetille technique, using tightly-curled gold wires with trails of minute gold granules, was fashionable in Europe from the 1820s until it fell out of favor in the1850s, but was widely used in India for much longer.
Bibliographic References
  • Susan Stronge, Nima Smith, and J.C. Harle. A Golden Treasury : Jewellery from the Indian Subcontinent London : Victoria and Albert Museum in association with Mapin Publishing, Ahmedabad, 1988. ISBN: 0944142168p.104STRONGE, Susan, Nima Smith and James Harle, A Golden Treasury. Jewellery from the Indian subcontinent, London, 1988, catalogue number 118, p.104
  • Re-use: The Art and Politics of Integration and Anxiety [Elektronisk resurs]. Sage Publications, 2012Chapter 5, Nick Barnard; Indian Jewellery and Nineteenth-Century Britain. Pl. 5.10
Collection
Accession Number
08661(IS)

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record createdFebruary 24, 2004
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