• Symbol2015 - 2016


    2015 - 2016

  • Symbol2015 - 2016


    2015 - 2016

  • Symbol2015 - 2016


    2015 - 2016

Jewellery is traditionally a symbol, whether of love, power, social status, identity or memory, as well as a symbol of devotion, sentiment or territory. Here we are presenting you with an extraordinary selection of symbolic jewellery that offers a fascinationg voyage through the symbols and values of humankind: from extremely rare, unique pieces like Pauline Bonaparte’s parure, Barbara cartland’s pearls or the Sasson crown to aristocratic jewellery and precious souvenirs and on to Victorian mourning jewellery and wedding rings.

Curated By Stefano Papi



End of the 19th century
ø 39 cm, Gold, silver, old mine-and circular-cut diamonds
Private collection, from the collection of Mrs Flora Abraham Sassoon

Collana Rivière

c. 1910, gold, platinum, diamonds, emeralds
ø. c. 35 cm
private collection

Important riviera necklace composed of a line of circular-cut diamonds alternating with cabochon emeralds, set in gold and platinum. The clasp, added later, and consisting of a cabochon emerald bordered by circular-cut diamonds, was originally a brooch.

Spille da lutto

Casalmaggiore, late 19th century
enamelled metal
6 Å~ 3 cm
Museo del Bijou di Casalmaggiore

These brooches, which were popular in Italy, were worn during the period of mourning. The symbols of the knot and the bow allude to ties with the deceased.


Torre del Greco, second half of the 19th century
coral and gold
Enzo Liverino collection

Comprising bracelets, brooch and earrings in coral, engraved in a naturalistic style.


Designed by Margherita Burgner
white gold, diamonds, chalcedony, aventurine and rock crystal
length 6.3 cm; width 5 cm,
weight c. 22 g

Cross with a central oval rock crystal mounted on a plate of aventurine quartz. The arms of the cross are chalcedony, and the whole is edged with brilliant-cut diamonds.


Gold, sapphires, synthetic stones and cultured pearls; in the shape of an M for Maria, decorated with sapphires, rubies and synthetic cabochon emeralds and small pearls.
The back is worked in gold cording with a double C cross (for Castellani)
5.5 Å~ 5.9 cm
private collection

This brooch is a copy of the Castellani version of the Founder’s Jewel, a 14th-century French brooch with a religious subject kept at New College, Oxford. In the original article, as well as the Castellani copy, there is an Annunciation scene, missing from this version. Castellani produced several copies of this brooch and one was given to Princess Maria Pia of Savoy on the occasion of her marriage to King Louis of Portugal in 1862.

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