This ornament for the male turban is one of an important group of turban jewels on display at the V&A. Originally owned by the Maharaja of Jaipur in Rajasthan, it is probable that this example was made in the royal workshops in the early 19th century. Due to its unusual form and design, it is possible that the ornament was made to adorn an image of the Hindu deity Krishna, with whom the peacock is associated, rather than for the ruler to wear as the traditional emblem of royalty. See it up close in South Asia, room 41 http://bit.ly/RmTJHK
Pair of Jeweled Bracelets, 500–700 Byzantine; Probably made in Constantinople Gold, silver, pearl, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, and emerald plasma
These elaborately decorated bracelets have richly jeweled exteriors and finely detailed opus interassile (openwork) patterns on their interiors. The luminous beauty of pearls was highly prized in the Byzantine world. These bracelets are only two of thirty-four pieces of gold jewelry from Egypt said to have been found near Lycopolis (now Assiut) or Antinoopolis (Antinoe, now Sheik Ibada) in Egypt at the turn of the century. Whether discovered together, or later assembled, they represent the standard of luxury common among the elite in Egypt during the period of Byzantine rule and the close connections between the wealthy province and the capital in Constantinople. Multicolored, or polychrome, jewelry was very popular in the Early Byzantine world.
Many of the pieces above depict urns, a common symbol of mortality in Victorian mourning jewelry. We also see several pieces with black enamel, which also represents mortality and death. White enamel was often used when remembering the death of a child or unmarried woman. Wheat sheaves, shown in pins in the bottom cluster, was a common symbol of prosperity and bounty. In fact, early bridal bouquets often included wheat for that very reason!