|Catalogue The Cult of Beauty (2011), p. 228-229.|
|Catalogue The Cult of Beauty (2011), p. 254-255.|
Not illustrated in the catalogue is a brooch that Ricketts designed for Edith Cooper's birthday in 1900, now in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum: 'My love has given me L'Oiseau bleu - the brooch designed by Ricketts -- Byzantine, wonderful' (Binary star. Leaves from the Journal and Letters of Michael Field, 1846-1914, 2006, p. 149). The gold brooch, enamelled and set with a garnet, was made by Carlo and Arthur Giuliano in London and depicts a bluebird on a spray of berries. Charlotte Gere and Geoffrey C. Munno wrote that 'consciously or unconsciously' Ricketts based his design on one by Burne-Jones and even followed his example in employing the Giuliano firm (Artists' Jewellery, 1989).
|Brooch made by Carlo Giuliano after a design by Edward Burne-Jones (c. 1885)|
There is some confusion over this piece of jewellery: Scarisbrick reported its loss (based on the diary notes of Michael Field: 'Returning home I find my Blue Bird Brooch gone', 11 April 1909, Binary star, p. 183), while the Fitzwilliam Museum describes the brooch as part of a bequest by Katherine Bradley. Darracott illustrated the brooch from the Fitzwilliam collection, dating it as 1899; Denys Sutton dated it as 1903-1906; Calloway dated it as c. 1904, and stated that this item was intended for Laurence Binyon's wife, Cicely. However, Paul Delaney wrote that the Binyon brooch was 'a version of the bluebird brooch, in white with a blue spray in its beak'. Anyway, Ricketts was so disappointed with that brooch that he did not give it to Cicely Binyon, but to his model, Hetty Deacon. There must have been at least two brooches based on the bird designs, and apparently, the Michael Field brooch was lost in 1909 but found again before Katherine Bradley died in 1914.
Between 1899 and 1904 Ricketts designed jewellery for his friends, Michael Field (Cooper and Bradley), Marie Sturge Moore, and Mrs Llewellyn Hacon, and some of these were donated to the collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Ashmolean Museum, while others seem to have disappeared. As a stage designer, later in his life, Ricketts also designed jewellery to go with the dresses of actresses and actors, and these gems reached a wider audience than the private circle of his friends, although the spectators may not have been aware of the intricate details when seeing something sparkling on the stage.
Colour illustrations of the bluebird brooch can be found in Stephen Calloway's book on Charles Ricketts and in Joseph Darracott's The World of Charles Ricketts.
|From: Stephen Calloway, Charles Ricketts (1979, p. 28: sketch) and Joseph Darracott, The World of Charles Ricketts (1980, p. 65: brooch).|