'On Thursday, May 1st, at twelve o'clock, the Great Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations was inaugurated with the ceremonial observances of a solemn act of state, by her majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. The 1st of May 1851, will, therefore, be a memorable day in the history of England, marking thus as it does, through all time, a great epoch in the annals of human industry. The whole world, invited to a vast competition in the power of conceiving and perfecting works of art and industry; examples of such works forwarded from every clime, and collected in a structure itself so novel, so ingenious and so graceful as only not to surpass in interest the congregated wonders of its contents; this display of marvels inaugurated by the most powerful monarch of the earth, greeted in the solemn act by the most affectionate homage of the most devoted loyalty that has ever acknowledged at once, and supported the majesty and might of human government, presented a scene not often recorded in the annals of the world . . .', and so the Observer rolled on.
he large amount of study which has recently been devoted to the art and decoration of the Victorian period has lcd to the reassessment of the value of Prince Albert's contribution to Victorian design. If his actual artistic productions were not very revolutionary and in some cases not entirely successful, his obsession with raising the standard of industrial design was of immense value at the time that saw such a great expansion of industrial methods in all branches of artistic production and the mass-production by mechanical methods of objects that had previously been the exclusive province of the artist-craftsman. This obsession remained in the forefront of his mind throughout the discussions which decided the scope and purpose of the first international exhibition — the Great Exhibition of the Works of [59/60] Industry of all Nations which the Queen and the great part of her subjects regarded as his finest achievement.
It has been pointed out in discussions of this period, that an exhibition catalogue is hardly the place to look for examples of objects that are fashionable, or in everyday use, or even in current commercial production, since the exhibits are required to be remarkable for more startling qualities than their modishness, usefulness, or commercial viability. This is less of a disadvantage with jewellery than with many other things, since it is not required to be useful, and the more luxurious part of the trade is supported by a clientele who want something unique and are prepared to pay whatever this costs. Even so there is a small body of nineteenth century jewellery that seems to have been created expressly for the showcases of a large exhibition, and a few of those pieces which appeared more than once in the exhibitions which were held following the Paris Exhibition in 1849, in London (1851 and 1862) in Paris, Dublin, Philadelphia, Florence, etc. were possibly never intended for domestic consumption at all. Queen Victoria recorded in her journal, on the occasion of a visit made to the Paris Exhibition of 1855, that she recognised things she had already seen in London (in 1851) and in Dublin (1853) and Vever records in his book, La Bijouterie Francaise au XIXs-Siècle, the exhibition career of some of the pieces he discusses. Such elaborate presentation pieces as the bracelet in Gothic style, decorated with scenes from the life of St Louis, which was made by F.D. Froment-Meurice in 1842 and shown in the 1851 Exhibition do not seem to have been designed with any thought of how they would appear when worn. Charles Blanc wrote deploring the constant striving after novelty which attacked these designers in Art in Ornament and Dress, published in translation in 1877:
Occasionally, the French jewellers allow themselves to be mislead by the fever of emulation or the desire of exciting astonishment. In our exhibitions electric jewels of startling novelty have been displayed. A Voltaic battery, small enough to be carried in the pocket, gave movement to a number of miniature objects arranged for the hair, as brooches or pins; a rabbit played a drum; a silver head, with ruby eyes and enamelled lips, made horrible grimaces; a convulsed butterfly and a bird flapping its wings were also represented, with [60/61] numerous other toys, no doubt manufactured for exporta- tion, and well calculated to delight savages.
These ornaments do seem to have exceeded the bounds of permissible fantasy, and the battery was certainly a novelty, but mechanical jewels had for many years been a speciality of both French and Swiss jewellers, French mechanical jewellery of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century being of extremely delicate workmanship. James Cox exhibited his museum of 'Automata and Jewellery' at Spring Gardens, Charing Cross, in 1772, and in 1774 he issued a descriptive catalogue of the objects, which was published simultaneously in French and English, prior to their disposal by public lottery. These things were not, strictly speaking, jewellery, being much too large to be worn. This type of animated, jewelled toy was more usually found on a clock, but the firm of Jaquct-Droz who succeeded to the business in Charing Cross at the end of the eighteer^h century imported, from Switzerland, jewels in the form of animals capable of performing a variety of movements, like the jewels advertised by Auguste Maillardet, of Fontaines, in Switzerland, in the early nineteenth century. The most common type of automata appeared on clocks and watches., but there were also a variety of enamelled pendants with animated scènes galantes, or the famous 'girl on a swing', in a round, oval or lyre shape, bordered with diamonds or pearls. Another early nineteenth century novelty was a bracelet with a small box on it, which sprang open at the touch of a catch to reveal a little feathered singing bird, similar to that found in those Swiss musical boxes which have been manufactured continuously since the eighteenth century. The bracelets, on the other hand, are extremely rare, as in most mechanical jewellery, it is very delicate and almost impossible to repair. The mechanical jewel is the rich man's enduring passion, Fabergé's Easter eggs with their mechanical surprises were the prized possessions of many European Royalties at the turn of the century, and travellers in India were familiar with the hypnotic 'third eye', a clockwork brooch, usually of diamonds, revolving in the turbans of the Rajahs (p.241).
In spite of the fantastic design of a small section of the exhibits the greater part of them were designed with care (though sometimes without art) and made with great skill. The eleven years [61/63] which elapsed between the 1851 Exhibition and its successor in 1862 saw a consolidation of the main trends of High Victorian design, and a new awareness of the European scene. There can be no doubt of the profound effect that the first International Exhibition, which was visited by over six million people, exerted on this complacent and insular nation. The superiority, both in design and technique, of some of the foreign exhibits, particularly the French jewellery, was apparent to all, and comparisons between the two exhibitions show that by 1862 the English jewellers had overcome a certain timorousness in the use of those less conventional materials which the French exhibits had so successfully exploited, though even in 1851 the opportunity to experiment had been seized by many of the exhibitors.
Queen Victoria opened the 1851 Exhibition wearing a pink satin dress embroidered with silver, a diamond ray diadem and a small crown, with ostrich feathers each side of her head, and more jewellery about her person, all diamonds. She is shown in this dress and with the diadem and crown on her head in the picture by Winterhalter, entitled The First of May. This type of diadem or tiara was known as a 'Russian' diadem, the fashion for wearing these had been started by the Russian Court, in the early nineteenth century, and the shape is an imitation of the kokoshnik, traditional head-dress worn by Russian peasant girls which was obligatory at certain Prussian Court functions in the nineteenth century.
The Empress Eugenie had a diadem of very similar design made for her by Bapst in 1863 which was sold with the rest of her jewellery by the Ministere des Finances in 1887. This was not the Queen's first sight of the Exhibition, she had already visited Hyde Park many times to watch the progress of the building, nor was it her last; in all she visited the Crystal Palace more than thirty times, recording each visit in her journal. The Queen loved jewellery and many of her visits were devoted to examinin the jewellery exhibits; for instance on May 3rd she devoted more of her time to an inspection of the English jewellery and plate, and later she visited the Mediaeval Court where she admired A.N.W. Pugin's jewellery [63/64] (p. 49), the Indian section with the magnificent jewels from Lahore, and the 'tasteful' jewels from Russia, which, like the rest of the Russian exhibits, arrived some time after the opening of the Exhibition, having been ice-bound in port. This was possibly the turquoise-set jewellery made by the Court jeweller, Bolin, which excited the admiration of the critic in the Illustrated London News.
Plate 24. Group of jewellery selected from the costly and elegant assortment exhibited by Messrs. Hunt and Roskell. Jewellery in the Great Exhibition from the 1851 Illustrated London News.
She was shown the famous blue 'Hope' diamond by Mr Hope himself. After the closing of the Exhibition the Directors of the East India Company presented the Queen with 'a specimen of each of the principal articles exhibited by the . . . Company' among them 'truly magnificent'jewels as her journal records.
The very large pearls, 224 in number, strung in 4 rows, are quite splendid and a very beautiful ornament. The girdle of 19 emeralds is wonderful and also of immense value. The emeralds, square in shape and very large, and alternately engraved, and unfortunately all are cut flat. They are set [64/65] round with diamonds, and fringed with pearls. The rubies are even more wonderful, they are cabochons, unset but pierced. The one is the largest in the world, therefore even more remarkable than the Koh-i-noor. I am very happy that the British Crown will possess these jewels, for I shall certainly make them Crown jewels.'
The Queen's numerous visits set an example which was enthusiastically followed by her subjects and the Exhibition was an undisputed success, attended by large numbers of people from all classes of society; it was clear that another exhibition should follow as soon as was reasonably possible. The French held their first International Exhibition in 1855 (the exhibition held in 1849 which was the inspiration for the 1851 Exhibition was not an international exhibition), and the second International Exhibition to be held in London was planned for 1861, but it was postponed, and finally opened in 1862. The range of this exhibition was [65/66] intended to include works of art, which had been excluded in 1851, resulting in a combination of the Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition, which was held in 1857, and the Great Exhibition of 1851. The later exhibition was generally agreed to be a great improvement on the first, artistically speaking, but it was not such a popular success. The death of the Prince Consort shortly before the opening cast a gloom over the proceedings, and the Queen's immediate retreat into deep mourning deprived the organizers of her enthusiasm and interest, and her example in visiting the Exhibition.
The Times critic felt that the second exhibition was far superior to the first and pointed out the additions that had been made to the scope of the undertaking:
. . . But after all, it is only eleven years since the last Exhibition; we seem to hear some people say; "and eleven years hence there will be still more to sec." When there will be another Exhibition is a question which depends upon persons and things far beyond our control; but if time is measured by improvement or by mere change, then these eleven years have been twenty-two. Since the last exhibition there have come up the Armstrong gun, the Enfield rifle, and iron-plated ships; several new gold fields, with proportional development of the colonies; the opening of China and Japan; the example of the Manchester Exhibition leading to our new Picture Gallery; the addition of Rome and Naples to the list of exhibitors; a greatly increased rivalry in glass, in porcelain, in iron, in paper, in furniture, in jewellery and many other things. Onyx marble has been discovered. Machinery has been applied to many purposes hitherto left to unassisted hand labour. Mediaeval architecture has fairly taken root in the national mind . . .
At least two of the changes singled out for notice by The Times were of the greatest possible significance for jewellery design apart from the important discovery of new goldtields. They were of course the opening up of Japan, and the inclusion of Rome amongst the exhibitors, the latter having the more immediate effect in the instant popularity of the Archeological jewellery exhibited by the Roman goldsmith, Castellani. The influence of Japan, which pervaded all the decorative arts, was felt later.
The Victorian range of appreciation was apparently unlimited. [66/67] Practically any new development, either artistic or mechanical, is reflected in the design of jewellery; the expansion of the middle class created a vast new public eager to acquire the jewellery and trinkets which they could now afford who were delighted by the 'novelty' of these pieces. The Industrial Revolution had provided the mechanical means to satisfy this demand and there seemed to be no reason to limit the production of these novelties, so that it is not always easy to separate the sublime from the mass of the ridiculous. Into which category should one put the necklaces and earrings made of little railway engines, no doubt made for the wife of a successful railroad speculator? One can hardly believe in the fashion for — 'A pair of railway engines suspended from the ears', and ivory and jet railway engines were apparently popular for demi-parures in the eighties. The Manchester cotton manufacturers produced materials decorated with locomotives in the eighties, but they were for export to Persia and Constantinopal.
Who wore the earrings in the shape of candlelabra, saucepans, tongs and shovels which were fashionable in the eighties? It is easier to understand the fanaticism which led women to wear 'guillotine' earrings at the time of the French Revolution, than the fashion for household implements. These could only have found favour at a time when servants were plentiful, unlike the present day when the real saucepan is all too omnipresent to make an acceptable ornament.
Even the machines themselves inspired a French jeweller, Felix Duval, to make jewellery incorporating machine parts, 'bijoux chemins de fer' and 'machine a vapour', bracelets of heavy links ornamented with the heads of screws, or with nails and rivets and decorated with chains, which recall the background of the famous photograph of I.K. Brunel at Millwall. A modified version of this type of jewellery was made in England, for instance the heavy links were used by S.H. & D. Gass for a bracelet, but the illusion of mechanical strength was destroyed by the delicate foliate engraving of the gold.
The Great Exhibition of 1851 was designed to celebrate the triumph of the mechanical progress which had developed during the first half of the nineteenth century and to show that the products of the machine could be artistic as well as ingenious. Prince Albert intended the whole exhibition to demonstrate the necessity for 'Art in Industry' and had he succeeded in this [67/68] intention the design of present-day mass-produced jewellery might have been very different. It was a short step from the realisation that two things (for instance the two earrings of a pair or two links in a chain) could be absolutely identical by employing a machine to make them, to the artistically disastrous realisation that an imitation of complicated hand-wrought work could be pressed out by that same machine. Mrs Haweis, writing in The Art of Beauty, which was published in 1878, deplored this fact:
Machine made jewellery has debased to the utmost the few fine forms which once were popular, and increased the ignorant and mistaken craze for "sets" and "pairs", which are themselves antagonistic to all true beauty, the essence of which is change, variety, freshness ... It is food for regret that it had been found possible to manufacture so much cheap work, and to find buyers among the vulgar and uncultivated masses.
The mass-production of cheap jewellery had been going on in a large way since the middle of the eighteenth century, with the manufacture of buttons, shoe buckles, chatelaines and other ornaments in cut-steel, an industry which was started in the early eighteenth century by the father of Matthew Boulton, owner of the famous Soho manufactury in Birmingham, then and now the centre of jewellery mass-production. Even in the eighteenth century the manufacturers of these 'toys', as they were called, produced £600,000 worth of goods annually of which £500,000 worth were exported. By the early years of the 19th century the jewellery workshops employed the greater part of the workforce of the town, 7,500 persons in all, at wages from 9 shillings to 12 shillings per week for women and 20 to 30 shillings per week for men, a decent wage for the period and one which allowed the men and their families to live in some respectibility, bordering on a middle-class standard, a fact which destroyed one of Ruskin's favourite arguments against mechanical work in the jewellery trade, i.e. that it employed sweated labour from whom nothing of great artistic sensibility could be expected. For in spite of the introduction of many mechanical processes into jewellery making the bulk of the production was still hand-made, or at least hand-finished, even in the sixties, but the Americans began exporting cheap imitation jewellery in 1874 and to compete the [68/69] industry had to become increasingly mechanised.
The production of imitations of precious jewellery, in which -steel or marchisite (cut-steel and marchisite are sometimes confused, being superficially not dissimilar in appearance, but marchisite is, in fact, iron-pyrites, which is facet-cut and then set to resemble diamond cluster jewellery) were substituted for diamonds and pinchbeck (or brass) for gold, spread alarm amongst the middle classes, who objected vigorously to their servant girls being able to ape their grand ways, with 'diamond' shoe buckles and necklaces and earrings of their own, but in spite of this and the endless criticisms of the poor quality in design and manufacture of cheap jewellery which were levelled at the trade by Matthew Digby Wyatt, John Ruskin, William Burges, Oscar Wilde, Mrs Haweis and many others, the mass-production of jewellery has increased ever since. The question of how these deficiencies might be remedied, generally believed to be by ensuring that the design and execution of a piece of jewellery should be in the hands of one inspired and unmechanised craftsman, was a great, not to sa overworked, preoccupation of these people, and Wilde's solution to the problem was given in a lecture on “The Practical Application. of the Principles of the Aesthetic Theory to Exterior and Interior House Decoration, with Observations upon Dress and Personal Ornaments,” which was later published by Methuen in a collection of Wilde's work, more simply entitled Art and the Handicraftsman (1902). He deplores the state of modern design:
I do not know anything so perfectly commonplace in design as most modern jewellery . . .' and his advice is as follows '. . . Search out your workmen and, when you find one who has delicacy of hand, and that wonder of invention necessary for goldsmiths' work, do not leave him to toil in obscurity and dishonour and have a great glaring shop and two great glaring shop-boys in it (not to take your orders: they never do that; but to force you to buy something you do not want at all). When you want a thing wrought in gold, goblet or shield for the feast, necklace or wreath for the women, tell him what you like most in decoration, flower or wreath, bird in flight or hound on the chase, image of the woman you love or the friend you honour. Watch him as he beats out the gold into those thin plates delicate as the petals of a yellow rose, or draws it into the long wires like tangled sunbeams at dawn. Whoever that workman may be help him, cherish him, and you will have much lovely work from his hand as will be a joy to you for all time.
This advice and all the other advice on the same lines persistently ignores the economic aspect of the situation. Unless jewellery was to be denied to less affluent classes of society it was essential that it should be produced by cheap methods as well as from cheap materials; the concept of the artist-craftsman is quite unrealistic in commerce. The proposal that the trade should turn its back on the machine and return to the traditional practises of the mediaeval workshop was economically unviable, but in the widely accepted view that the Middle Ages were the golden age of the integration of artist and craftsman lay the death of Prince Albert's hopes for the advance of art in industry. It took half a century for a less unrealistic view to prevail and for those who believed in the absolute superiority of the craftsman to become reconciled to the inevitability of increased mechanisation; to accept that the beaten gold and the wire produced by a reliable manufacturer of jewellers' findings was just as likely to resemble yellow rose petals or tangled sunbeams-as the hand-work of a skilled craftsman,
Matthew Digby Wyatt, writing in the Journal of Design in 1850 on the subject of design in iron-work, proposed an ideal arrangement which would ensure that the products of the factory would be well designed but without, unfortunately, making it [70/71] clear how the arrangement should be put into practice:
no successful results can be obtained . . . until either 1st the manufacturer and the designer are one individual doubly gifted, or 2nd the manufacturer takes the pains to investigate and master so much of the elements of design as shall at least enable him to judiciously control the artist; or 3rd the artist by a careful study of the material and its manufacture shall elaborate and employ a study of design in harmony with, and special to, the peculiarities so evolved.'
This sounds like the prospectus of a perfect School of Design, but even now the charge that they do not sufficiently concern themselves with commercial considerations is constantly being levelled at the art schools. Ironically enough the blame for this state of affairs could well be laid at the door of Sir Henry Cole, the Prince's right-hand man in the organisation of the Great Exhibition.
Looking back on the achievements of the Victorian period, in this field of jewellery in particular one is impressed by how much of the design was good and how fine the workmanship and the unrelenting criticism seems unjust, but it was based on reasoning which is now completely out-dated. The idea that certain fashionable trinkets should be expendable is very recent, and those who criticised the poor design of cheap fashionable jewellery were probably only too well aware of the durability of the stamped gold brooches and bracelets which would enable them to survive for over a hundred years as representatives of the design of the period (Plate 8).
Plate 8. Demi-parure consisting of brooch and earrings. English c. 1850-60. Stamped gold set with porphyry. The appearance of substance is deceptive. Courtesy of the London Museum.
After 1862 exhibitions continued to be held regularly and were a moderate success with huge attendances by the public, but serious artistic interest in them dwindled, becoming almost non-existent after 1876; lacking the compulsive interest of novelty none reached the height of popularity achieved by the Great Exhibition in 1851. Indeed the display of jewels at this first exhibition must have been breath-taking, two famous diamonds of great size were shown, the Koh-i-noor, lent by Queen Victoria, and the Durra-i-noor or 'Sea of Light', lent by the East India Company. Hunt and Roskell proposed to show £100,000 worth of jewels, but they stipulated that they should be allowed to change the jewels on exhibition for others of equal value in order to [71/72] maintain their ordinary business during the period of the Exhibition. The rules against selling goods at the Exhibition were strict but they were not always very strictly observed; the assistant on the stand taken by the Bey of Tunis having set up shop, as in a Bazaar, spent the day haggling with his 'customers'. The French were reputed to have been unscrupulous in the rratter of marking prices as well.
Hunt and Roskell's exhibit contained part of the famous collection of gems belonging to Henry Hope, brother of Thomas Hope of Deepdene, which included green and pink diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds of great size and a Hungarian opal more than an inch long, but this collection paled in comparison with that of his son, A.J. Hope, owner of the famous 'Hope' diamond and Murat's sword-hilt, carved out of a single aqua- marine. Amongst the other exhibitors were Garrards, who, like Hunt and Roskell, exhibited jewels inspired by the sculptures from Nineveh. Layard's description of the Assyrian jewellery found in these bas-reliefs is quoted by Matthew Digby Wyatt in Metalwork and its Artistic Design (1852):
their earrings, necklaces, armlets and bracelets, were all of the most elegant forms. The clasps and ends of the bracelets were frequently in the shape of the heads of rams and bulls, resembling our modern jewellery. The earrings have generally on the later monuments, particularly in the bas-reliefs of Khorsabad, the form of a cross. In their arms the Assyrians rivalled even the Greeks in elegance of design. Ornaments, in the form of the heads of animals — chiefly the lion, bull, and ram — were very generally introduced, even in parts ol the chariot, the harness of the horses, and domestic furniture.'
Other exhibitors included the jewellery firms of Watherston and Brogden; Rowlands &: Son, of 146 Regent Street, who showed a 'brilliant and ruby bracelet, after the Holbein style'; and J.V. Morel & Co., of 7 New Burlington Street, whose 'bouquet, composed ol diamonds and a great collection of rubies, separating into several different ornaments' was awarded a medal. The French contribution included work by the famous firm of Froment-Meurice, who showed jewellery in the Renaissance style which was illustrated by Digby Wyatt in Metalwork and its Artistic Design [72/73] (London, 1852); Lemmonier, exhibiting jewels made for the Queen of Spain; and Rudolphi, who exhibited a silver brooch in the same Gothic style as Froment-Meurice.
Left: Plate 25a. Silver brooch by Rudolphi. 1849. This brooch was illustrated in the Journal of Design vol. I. in 1849. It is in a style typical of French Gothic jewellery, though it was much admired in England it was not successfully copied here. Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Right: Plate 25b. Brooch in the 'Gothic' style by S.H. & D. Gass. Illustrated London News, September 6th 1851. Shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851. This brooch shows the great gulf which existed between French and English taste at this time.
The great difference in approach between the French and the English designers is shown by making a comparison between this brooch by Rudolphi and another brooch of Gothic inspiration which was also shown in 1851 (Plates 25a & b). Both these pieces were illustrated in contemporary periodicals, Rudolphi's in The Journal of Design, and in the Illustrated London News the 'Brooch in the style of the cinque cento period, set with precious stones, representing a Gothic niche, composed of carbuncles and diamonds, with a figure, in brilliants, of 'Britannia holding a trident' and an ancient paddle, in rubies, standing on a shell, underneath which is the subdued dragon, terminating with three pearl drops'. The 'Britannia' brooch was made by S.H. & D. Gass, of 166 Regent Street, a firm which seems to a certain extent to have been aware of developments in design in France, frequently using techniques quite recently revived by French jewellers, for instance the use of niello, pioneered by Wagner, a German working in Paris, and Froment-Meurice, who had been a pupil of Wagner during his, apprenticeship. A niello bracelet by Froment-Meurice, made of oblong links decorated with foliated ornament, is in the collection of his great-grandson1 . The work in niello shown by S.H. & D. Gass in 1851 is much more elaborate than this bracelet, the capacity of the medium being stretched to the utmost to produce two bracelets, one with a portrait of the Queen and the Prince of Wales executed in niello (Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue, 1851, p. 158) and the other a manchette bracelet designed by Daniel Maclise, which is divided into three compartments, depicting 'The Promised Gift', 'The Gift Ordered' and 'The Presentation' (Plate 26; immediately below).
Plate 26. Design for a niello bracelet Print after a drawing by Daniel Maclise R.A. 1849. This bracelet was made by S.H. & D. Gass and shown at The Great Exhibition in 1851. Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Among the exhibits in 1851 were many of the inevitable portraits of the Queen; apart from the many miniatures there was one made from 1,114 'fine and perfect diamonds, rose-cut', and another, made with ghastly ingenuity from human hair. Equally patriotic were the jewels made from indigenous materials, agates, granite and cairngorms found in Scotland, river pearls found in Scotland and Ireland, Wicklow gold and bog oak.
In 1851 coral was still, to a large extent, the province of Italian jewellers, and a Genoese firm established in London, Paravague [73/74] and Casella, of Brabant Court, showed coral in its natural state (an enormous piece of branch coral, the size of a small tree), some elaborately carved coral ornaments, and beads in a variety of sizes from the smallest (called smezzati moro) to large (codini); but Hunt and Roskell showed 'an ornament for the head, composed of branch coral, connected by leaves of enamel and gold, enriched with diamonds' (a more elaborate version of Plate 7a).
Coral Bracelet with the head of Bacchus and bacchantes. 1860–69. Gold and highly prized red coral. 1 13/16 in. (4.6 cm). The country of origin may be either England or Italy. Collection: the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland (no. 57.1887). Reproduced courtesy of the Walters Art Museum. Not in original print edition.
By 1862 Robert Phillips, whose share in popularising coral was rewarded with a decoration by the King of Naples, was exhibiting carved coral which was much admired. He also showed a necklace in gold which was a Greco-Etruscan copy in the Castellani manner. Castellard exhibited in 1862 a collection of his 'Archeological jewels from existing originals' but Phillips would have had an opportunity to see these the previous year when they were shown in Jermyn Street, and also to hear Castellani's account of how he arrived at the method of imitating ancient granulation, which he described in a paper delivered at the Archeological Institute.
In spite of these and other attractions which had been added since the first Exhibition in 1851, the later Exhibition did not enjoy the enormous popular success of the first. Without the attraction of novelty, and with the sombre aspect of the Court since the death of the Prince Consort, the occasion was altogether less brilliant. [74/75]
26 February 2015