victorian pearls

The Mellerio Shell Tiara (created in 1867) resembles both a shell cradling its treasures and a rolling ocean wave, complete with pearls and briolette-cut diamonds dripping below. There’s a removable diamond drop suspended beneath in the center – highlighting the waves on the base – which is not used these days. The piece comes from famed French jeweler Mellerio, whose delicate work has contributed pieces to many a royal house.

An Art Nouveau gold, plique-à-jour enamel, pearl and ruby pendant, by Georges Fouquet, circa 1898. The pendant designed as an orchid decorated with plique-à-jour enamel, centring a round faceted ruby, surrounded by four small pearls set to the anthers, mounted in yellow gold, suspended from a gold chain set with gems.


Queen Victoria’s small diamond crown

Worn for the first time in 1871 at the opening of Parliament. This crown was created for Queen Victorian and became her favorite because it’s small size allowed her to wear it on top of her widow’s cap.

The crown went on to be owned by Queen Alexandra and then Queen Mary.

Made by the Crown Jewellers, R.S. Garrard & Co. in 1870

Grace Rose (detail)
Frederick Sandys (British; 1829–1904)
Oil on panel
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut