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This bracelet reflects the peak of naturalism of the 1850s. Twigs, branches, flowers and fruits have been modelled in gold in life-like detail. They have been given realistic colours by using rich translucent enamel on engraved surfaces.

Naturalistic jewellery, decorated with clearly recognisable flowers and fruit, was popular for much of this period. These motifs first became fashionable in the early years of the century, with the widespread interest in botany and the influence of Romantic poets such as Wordsworth. By the 1850s the delicate early designs had given way to more extravagant and complex compositions of flowers and foliage.

At the same time, flowers were used to express love and friendship. The colours in nature were matched by coloured gemstones, and a ‘language of flowers’ spelt out special messages.

In contrast with earlier periods, the more elaborate jewellery was worn almost exclusively by women.

Details

  • Title: Bracelet
  • Creator: Morel, Jean-Valentin
  • Date Created: 1845/1854
  • Location: Paris
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 6.9 cm, Width: 1.7 cm, Depth: 6.4 cm
  • Provenance: Cory Bequest
  • Medium: Enamelled gold set with pearls

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