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Lady Layard's Necklace

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (series)

    • Lady Layard's Necklace
  • Description

    Lady Layard's necklace: the gold settings are decorated with chevron borders which imitates Late Assyrian cylinder seals, and included Assyrian lions' heads and 'pine-cone' motifs.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1869 (Date of manufacture of the gold settings and make-up of the necklace)
  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 49.7 centimetres (necklace)
    • Length: 6.79 centimetres (ear-ring)
    • Length: 6.58 centimetres (ear-ring)
    • Height: 6.88 centimetres (bracelet)
    • Width: 7.39 centimetres (bracelet)
  • Curator's comments

    Sir Austin Henry Layard married in March 1869 at the age of 52. His 25-year-old bride was Enid Guest, daughter of l;ady Charlotte Schreiber, Layard's cousin, old friend and long-time supporter. As a wedding present, Layard had a number of seals which he had acquired during his travels made up into a necklace, bracelet (1913,0208.1) and two earrings (1913,0208.2 & 1913,0208.3) in these Victorian gold settings. A portrait (1980,1216.1) shows Enid wearing the jewellery, and she wrote in her diary that, when they dined with Queen Victoria in 1873, it was 'much admired'.

    See also C. Gere & J. Rudoe, 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World', London, British Museum, 2010, fig. 368, p.394.


  • Bibliography

    • Curtis & Reade 1995a p. 220 no. 250 (photograph) bibliographic details
    • Guide 1922 p. 231 bibliographic details
    • British Museum 2011a p.169, cat.149 bibliographic details
    • Rudoe 1987 pp. 213-215, pl. XXXI (photograph) bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G55/dc15

  • Exhibition history

    2013 22 Jun-2014 6 Jan, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, 'Mesopotamia, Inventing Our World'
    2013 30 Jan-13 May, Museum of History, Hong Kong, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
    2012 4 May-7 Oct, Melbourne Museum, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
    2011 28 March-26 June, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 'Splendours of Mesopotamia'
    2008 21 Sept-2009 4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
    2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'
    2004 15 Oct-2005 16 Jan, London, Leighton House Museum and Linley Sambourne House, 'The Price of Beauty: Edward Long's 'Babylonian Marriage Market'
    1993 18 Nov-1994 15 Jan, France, Paris, Musée du Louvre, '150 ème Anniversaire de la Decouverte des Assyriens'

  • Condition


  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Report to the Director by Budge, dated 30 April 1914

  • Department

    Middle East

  • BM/Big number


  • Joined objects

Lady Layard's necklace, made up from 18 Assyrian and Babylonian cylinder seals, 105111-105128, set in gold mounts.

Lady Layard's necklace, made up from 18 Assyrian and Babylonian cylinder seals, 105111-105128, set in gold mounts.

Image description



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Object reference number: WCO147065

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