This earring was made in Russia in 1800-1880, constructed with brass wire strung with seed pearls and a garnet.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries earrings were popular in Russia, worn by both men and women.  However, by the nineteenth century, they were worn only by women.  Traditional Russian jewellery uses seed pearls making its design very distinctive.

Courtesy of the V&A online collections

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This locket is French made from 1726-1869, made from gold, silver, rose cut diamonds with seed pearls, mother of pearl and blue enamel.

The piece is reminisscent of the increasing popularity of memorial jewellery, especially popular in Britain, but motifs were developed throughout Europe.  The intricate, elegant design reflects its purpose to symbolise remembrance and commemoration.

Image courtesy of the V&A collections

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This necklace originating in Burma in the second quarter of the nineteenth century consists of a cascade of seed pearls, gold and filigree work. 

Images courtesy of the V&A Collections.


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Below is a beautiful poem entitled 'The Wearer' by Colette Bryce

'In 2002 Colette was one of five poets commissioned by the V&A and the Poetry Book Society to create new works inspired by the British Galleries 1500–1900.'

This poem is inspired by 'Chain necklace with peacock pendant by C R Ashbee, England, 1901'.  See image beneath the poem.

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V&A Exhibition  The Origins and History of the Pearl

Following the V&A’s exhibition revealing some of the most rare and notable natural Gulf pearls.  We were inspired to find out more and to explore the history of the pearl.

The Arabian Gulf, surrounding Qatar was one of the main pearl-fishing areas for thousands of years.  Trading some of the most desirable and valuable pearls in the world.  During the early nineteenth century the Arabian Gulf reclaimed it’s standing as the major global supplier of pearls, with the gem being in great demand. 

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