Bodice ornament


The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

This bodice ornament is composed of a bow and a symmetrical arrangement of flowers. The large coloured stones are golden-yellow topaz, sometimes described as 'sherry topaz'. The colourless stones are a mixture of colourless topaz and rock crystal. The colourless topaz have a slight pink tinge.

There was a massive export of topaz and other stones from the Portugese territory of Brazil in the eighteenth century and it is possible that this ornament was made in Portugal. The use of cheaper colourless stones, rather than diamonds, is probably the reason the ornament has survived instead of being broken up.

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  • Title: Bodice ornament
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1765/1774
  • Location: Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 7.0 cm, Width: 8.8 cm, Depth: 2.1 cm
  • Provenance: Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Patricia V. Goldstein
  • Medium: Topazes and rock crystal set in silver

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