- Museum number
Silver brooch, with a gold backing and pavé-set with turquoises, in the form of a dove with ruby eyes and a pendant heart. The wings are spread and engraved with feathers on the reverse with a compartment for hair in the back of the heart.
- Production date
- 1840 (circa)
Width: 3.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text revised from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 518:
The bridesmaids who attended Queen Victoria at her marriage to Prince Albert in 1840 were presented with brooches in the form of eagles carrying hearts pave-set with turquoises, which were designed by the bridegroom; the fashion for these bird brooches can be dated in that period.
The painted miniature illustrated in Fig. 39 (H6.1 cm; sold Sotheby's 14 December 1981, lot 154, where it is dated c.1845) provides a rare depiction in a portrait of this type of sentimental jewellery. The sitter wears a heart shaped pendant on a black ribbon round her neck (see 521), while a bird with a pendant heart in its beak is pinned at the opening of her bodice. Both jewels are painted dark blue, which may be intended to represent enamel rather than gems. The miniature is signed Guiglielmo Faija (b. Palermo 1803, d. after 1861), active in London from 1837/8, working for the Royal Family and exhibiting at the Royal Academy 1838-48. (C.Gere)
See also C. Gere & J. Rudoe, 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World', London, British Museum, 2010, fig. 113 p.158. Caption: ‘Doves and forget-me-nots, English, 1830–50.’
Turquoise in jewel lore is an affirmation of love and ruby stands for passion; the combination of turquoise and ruby is often found in jewels of sentiment.
For the royal bridesmaids’ (or trainbearers’) brooches, the turquoise-set eagle with ruby eye and diamond beak carries not a heart but two pearls for beauty and purity. The twelve brooches designed by the bridegroom, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, were made by Charles du Vé for R & S Garrard. Several survive, in the Royal Collection and in the families of the original recipients. For the example in the Museum’s collection see 2002,0301.1, (1994-2002 London, BM, Gallery 47. On loan, donated by the Hon. Mrs Marten in 2002.) See BM Magazine no 21 Spring 1995 p.21 for article by Charlotte Gere.
For Guglielmo Faija (1803–73), see Vanessa Remington, Victorian Miniatures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 2010, pp. 218-9. Remington lists 67 miniatures by him in the Royal Collection, many showing details of jewellery.
- On display (G47/dc8)
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.380 (masterlist number)