- Museum number
Aigrette in the form of a ribbon-tied sheaf of wheat-ears. Silver and gold, mixed closed and open-back, set with diamonds.
- Production date
Height: 10.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Supplement to catalogue entry:
Wheat-ear aigrette, open setting, English, about 1825. Letter from Harvey & Gore to Mrs Hull Grundy, 18th June, 1970: 'I enclose a very beautiful wheat ear spray brooch, which was made about 1825\30 and costs £1,875. On close inspection you can see that each wheat-ear could be pulled out and these would then have been slotted into a tiara. We understood from the person from whom it was purchased that it has been in their family for several generations and that the owner remembers there being a tiara fitting for it but, unfortunately, some years ago the jewellery was split up amongst different members of the family.'
Parisian taste for wheat-ear hairpins dates from about 1805, (see the painting 'Le Sacre de Napoléon' by David); in 1821 'coiffures à la Cérès' (Ceres, goddess of 'spring') came into fashion (Vever). Wheat-ear combs were supplied to William IV in 1830 (Twining).
In the private sale (Sale of the Empress's private jewels, Christie's, London, June 24, 1872, lot ?) of items smuggled out of the Tuileries by the Empress Eugénie in 1870 were three brooches or aigrettes of wheat-ears tied with ribbon bows; the multiple number makes the idea that these were adaptable to a tiara or a wreath quite plausible. (Charlotte Gere)
- On display (G47/dc8)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Harvey & Gore, 4 Burlington Gardens, London, W1. Original invoice for £1,700 to Anne Hull Grundy dated August 1970, described as 'A fine and unusual diamond spray of five wheat ears, tied with a rose-diamond ribbon, English, c. 1830'.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.416 (masterlist number)