Head Ornament

gold, translucent enamel, diamonds, rubies and emeralds, ostrich feathers

12 x 17.2 cm

It is unclear whether this rather extraordinary jewel was made for a local patron or commissioned by a westerner, for at the beginning of the last century Oriental style was fashionable in Europe, particularly for costume balls. Besides being vividly coloured, the three roundels are fitted with mechanisms that cause the jewelled stars to rotate, increasing the ornament’s dazzling appearance.

Haydn Williams, Enamels of the World: 1700-2000 The Khalili Collections, London 2009, cat. 142, pp. 214–15.