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Topic: Bizarre piece of Victorian Kitsch *New* With picture of matching earrings!  (Read 18434 times)
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Magpie Queen
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« on: April 05, 2006 05:11:21 PM »

 A sunny afternoon in the jewelry wing of the Victoria and Albert Museum, everything seems perfectly normal. Silver filligreed bracelets and emerald rings adorn the walls. Little know the motley crew what horrors lay beneath the pleasant surface. Suddenly, hidden in a corner a monster is spotted. My mother faints. "Fetch the smelling salts!" I cry, the slow impending doom submerging us in a sea of horror. But no one was there, we were alone and at the mercy of the monstrosity(que scary music)

It was (do not cry out, dear reader)...

A gold necklace upon which SIX STUFFED HUMMINGBIRD HEADS were mounted

I kid you not.

*New* I went on the V & A website, and while, unable to find a picture of the necklace, did find 2 matching earrings.
http://images.vam.ac.uk/images/photo/dch/20051111/medium/4737-001.jpg


" The mounting of small birds or their heads in jewellery was fashionable in the 1860s and 1870s. A visitor to Harry Emanuel's shop in 1865 described his stock as including humming birds' heads mounted in necklaces and earrings.

Harry Emanuel took over his father's jewellery business in 1855. He retired in 1873, and later became, at his own expense, the Minister Plenipotentiary (ambassador) of the Domican Republic in France. He died in Nice in 1898."
« Last Edit: April 08, 2011 11:52:22 AM by Aislynn - Reason: Edited to change broken images to links. » THIS ROCKS   Logged
Zombi
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006 06:59:38 PM »

Good God! Shocked

Horrendous, but it was probably someone's prized possession at one point.
Yuck.  Undecided
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Lay her down in her gingerbread coffin, she's so pretty all laid out in white...
I'll be your deadly nightshade, turn your Christmas black, and you can be my Johnny Homicidal Maniac!
Magpie Queen
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006 07:43:43 PM »

Aye,
And the person who made it had the method of attaching bird heads to gold patented  Tongue
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wifeofbath
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2006 01:56:32 PM »

I don't know whether to be aghast or to LMAO. The Victorians, for all they accomplished a lot, could be odd.
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"An old cloak makes a new jerkin..." (Wm Shakespeare, recycling and DIY enthusiast)
Zombi
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« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2006 10:30:23 PM »

True. They'll probably be going through the V&A in 100 years time saying 'Oh God! Look at that Ipod! How gross!'
 Grin
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Lay her down in her gingerbread coffin, she's so pretty all laid out in white...
I'll be your deadly nightshade, turn your Christmas black, and you can be my Johnny Homicidal Maniac!
pavlova
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2006 08:03:21 AM »

the V&A is great for quirky stuff and an afternoon stroll.
they have a whole load of vintage knitting patterns on their website from the world war ii era.
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Elizabeth Ingrid
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2006 04:47:35 PM »

I adore crazy finds like that!  Would love to see a picture...there must be one somewhere.
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Magpie Queen
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2006 05:19:56 PM »

I adore crazy finds like that!  Would love to see a picture...there must be one somewhere.

I did take a picture, but our camera was stolen at a church  Angry (talk about irony)

I was thinking about making one for myself (out of fake birds) and a picture would have been very helpful. It was just so very deliciously strange/disgusting! I'll look at the V & A website to see if they have one.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2006 05:38:10 PM by Magpie Queen » THIS ROCKS   Logged
jane feebles
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2006 06:20:32 PM »

What a great way for Victorian women to avoid taboo physical contact and fend off unwanted suitors - I would be scared to get near something like that on someone's neck!
Every madness has its method
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Do you stitch? Do you bitch? Do you live in BrisVegas?? http://brisbanesnb.wordpress.com/

sighing, she stared wist-fully across the crowded buffet table
Elizabeth Ingrid
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2006 07:04:08 PM »

Thanks for finding the earring pics!  True, they are delightfully wrong and so mesmerizing.  If you're interested in making something similar for yourself (out of fake birds), you might enjoy looking through artist Elizabeth McGrath's new book Everything that Creeps.  It's beautifully photographed and features a number of her mounted, fantastical creature heads wearing hats and other accessories.
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