- Museum number
Aigrette in the form of a ribbon-tied trembler spray of flowers and wheat-ears of fine workmanship. Silver and gold with an open-back and set with diamonds.
- Production date
- 19thC (mid)
Height: 9.30 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift (Gere et al 1984) no. 17:
The taste for these bouquet ornaments persisted after the turn of the century: a very similar aigrette is included in a French design-book issued by Villardi in 1811 (see Vever 1908-12, 1, p. 61). (Charlotte Gere).
Supplement to catalogue entry:
Trembler spray of cornflowers and wheat-ears, silver and gold open setting, in a velvet-lined morocco leather case. In the style of designs issued by Villardi in Paris, 1811, but probably dating from the Second Empire. This may be the 'Antique diamond brooch in the form of a harvest bouquet, the wheat ears, leaves and stems pavé-set with cushion-shaped stones, the single flower-head similarly set with a larger diamond at the centre, with case' [undated auction page in HG records] sold at auction 'By order of the executors'.The combination of cornflower and wheat-ears is suggestive of a mid-nineteenth century date Among the pieces taken from the Tuileries by the Empress Eugénie in 1870 was a `beautiful brilliant brooch formed as a cornflower and a group of foliage' (Sale of the Empress's private jewels, Christies, London, June 24, 1872, lot 41). Case characteristically French, not English. (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. 53, p.89. ‘This popular model of a bouquet of wheat-ears and cornflowers in diamonds set à jour in silver and gold is in the original (probably French) display case, with a hinge at the side instead of the back. It is similar to one of Eugénie’s personal jewels, sold in London in 1872. Aigrettes were interchangeable, as corsage ornaments or for wearing in the hair.’ (Charlotte Gere)
- On display (G47/dc8)
- Exhibition history
2010 11 May-14 Aug, London, British Museum (G90), 'Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- HG archive contains photo of this item torn from an unidentified catalogue captioned lot 136.
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: HG.417 (masterlist number)