29 June, 10:47

Vintage jewelry from the collection of Joan Evans

Vintage jewelry from the collection of Joan Evans
British researcher of English medieval art Joan Evans collected a large collection of jewelry, which before her death she donated to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ashmolean Museum and the Birmingham Museum. This is mainly jewelry from the Middle Ages and early modern times. Based on her studies, Evans wrote many works; one of the first books, “English Jewelry from the 5th Century AD to 1800” (1921), was devoted to jewelry. In 1959 she became the first woman president of the Society of Antiquaries, a post she held for five years.

Jewelry creators were often inspired by popular literary works. For example, the clasp for a bracelet from the late 18th century is decorated with a portrait of Mary, one of the heroines of the book by the English writer Laurence Sterne “A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy.” The drawing evokes a melancholy mood - at that time, melancholy became one of the key themes of artistic works. Inside the clasp is a lock of hair, probably a romantic keepsake.

The following jewelry is one of 52 rings made by order of the Prince Regent, and later the English King George IV, in honor of his sister, Princess Amelia. The princess died in 1810 at the age of 27 from tuberculosis, and after her death the entire royal family experienced deep grief. The rings, made by jewelers from Rundell and Bridge, were distributed to family members and courtiers.

The following pendant was made at the beginning of the 15th century. The item is made of silver and plated with gold. The obverse depicts the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei), a symbol based on lines from the New Testament about Jesus Christ. By the 6th century, a lamb was often depicted under a cross, as in this decoration.

Below are other items from Joan Evans' collection.

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