18 March 2012

Sunday Brooch: The Grima Ruby

Many of Queen Elizabeth's brooches are traditional - they depict something in particular, or are in a basic traditional style. Not so with this one, just one of the modern brooches that have joined the collection during her reign.
The Grima Ruby Brooch
This brooch comes from jeweler Andrew Grima, and it bears many hallmarks of his work: interesting stones in interesting forms (recycled carved rubies - reportedly from an Indian headdress - studded with smaller diamonds) and organic shapes (free-form gold). Grima broke from traditional jewelry in radical ways, and it was that break that brought him royal attention. In the 1960s Lord Snowdon, then husband to the queen's sister Princess Margaret, complained in an article that nothing interesting was going on when it came to jewelry. Grima invited Snowdon to his shop and from then on he had royal patronage.
Queen Elizabeth
Prince Philip bought this particular brooch for the queen in 1966. Subsequently, Grima was awarded the Duke of Edinburgh's Prize for Elegant Design, the Queen's Award for Industry, and a prized royal warrant. Queen Elizabeth has worn this brooch ever since, including for her 2007 Christmas message - broadcast just one day before Andrew Grima passed away.
2007 Christmas Message
I'm not a big fan of this one myself; I go more for traditional forms of pretty when it comes to the fictional jewel collection of my dreams. Then again, if I had traditional and dainty for miles all around me, perhaps I'd be game for something far outside of the box.
Princess Anne wore Grima earrings to daughter Zara's wedding, another example of royal Grima jewelry