The brooch with a portrait of Queen Draga

  • Era/Century: 19th
  • Dating: 1900-1901
  • Material: gold, saphire, silk
  • Technique: casting, enamel
  • Diameter: 3,7 cm
  • ID Number: UPE 199
  • Property: Belgrade City Museum
  • On Display: The Residence of Princess Ljubica

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Queen Draga Obrenović was born in 1864 in Gornji Milanovac, in the famous Lunjevica family. Her grandfather was Nikola Milićević Lunjevica, a friend Miloš Obrenović. Her first marriage to an engineer, Svetozar Mašin, lasted three years. As a young widow and an educated woman who spoke several foreign languages, Draga wrote short stories, novels and translated literary works. After the divorce of Queen Natalija and King Milan, she became the Queen's lady-in-waiting. In 1900, Draga married King Aleksandar, the last king of the Obrenović dynasty. She was not popular among the people due to the large age difference between her and the king and because it was believed that she could not have children. She was killed together with the King during the May Overthrow, i.e. on May 30, 1903.

The brooch with a portrait of Queen Draga was made upon her rise to the throne after a photo of the court photographer Milan Jovanović. The portrait conforms to the official scheme, featuring attributes that indicate her status achieved after the rise to the throne.
The practice of depicting royal figures on utilitarian objects was part of the presentation policy aimed at popularizing the Queen and the royal status. This kind of promotion was intended for a narrow circle, primarily the court, as indicated by the preciousness of the materials, the beauty of the design and the small number of copies.


Nataša Popovska
Applied Arts
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