Long before memory can recall or records began, the knot was used as a symbol of love. It is a simple act, the tying of two threads together, and perhaps for that reason it has been given many meanings, of unity, attachment and strength, among others. These interpretations have made the knot popular as a secret message between lovers through the centuries.
There are many ways to tie a knot, and in the Baroque courts of Europe it was the bow that rose to prominence. There it became fashionable among courtiers to pin a ribbon bow over the heart, telling those in the know that the wearer was in love.
As jewellers refined their art, ribbons were replaced by more enduring materials. Now shaped in gold and painted in enamel or studded with stones, the bow motif was favoured by many royal ladies.
These included Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, who owned a set of three brooches. Continued improvements to technique meant Queen Victoria was able to replace her grandmother’s rather restrained bows with a set of more vivacious brooches in 1858.
Commissioned from Garrard to a design overseen by her husband Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s bows appear as though they have just been fastened, their ties fluttering in the breeze. That they have been worn by every successive queen, from Queen Alexandra to HM The Queen, is testament to their lasting appeal.
In the Bow collection, Garrard has revisited this historic design, bringing the motif up to date in a modern, playful style.
Shaped in gold and painted in enamel or studded with stones, the bow motif was favoured by many royal ladies.