This month the William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery at the V&A reopened following a three month refurbishment. Launching with a fabulous evening of music and beauty for those lucky enough to receive an invitation, it is now open to the public once again.
Queen Victoria’s stunning sapphire and diamond coronet, acquired by the V&A in 2017 through the generosity of William & Judith, Douglas and James Bollinger as a gift to the Nation and the Commonwealth, is now on permanent public display for the first time as the centrepiece of the refurbished galleries. One of Queen Victoria’s most important jewels, it was designed for her by Prince Albert in 1840 – the royal couple’s wedding year – and made by Joseph Kitching, partner at Kitching and Abud.
The display also includes 30 new pieces ranging from the late 19th century to the present, including works by contemporary makers Alan Craxford, Ute Decker and Charlotte de Syllas working in Britain. Alan’s piece was purchased using funds from a private collector for the V&A’s permanent collection during Goldsmiths’ Fair 2018.
Over 4.2 million people have visited the William and Judith Bollinger Gallery at the V&A since it opened in 2008, and it’s one of the most popular galleries of the museum, telling the story of European and Western jewellery from Ancient Greece and Rome to the present.