Current Lecture Programme
Tuesdays at 6:00pm. Members and Guests.
Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly W1J 0BE
Lectures are restricted to members and their guests. It is not normally necessary to inform the Society that you will be atttending, but if attendance is expected to be exceptionally high the Society will inform members well in advance if booking a seat is a
requirement of attendance at a particular lecture.
If you are not a member, and would like to attend a lecture as a guest of the Society, click here to send your name, contact details, and the subject of the lecture you would like to attend. We will confirm your attendance by email. The Society welcomes new members. If you are interested in joining the Society further details can be given to you when you attend the lecture.
AGM followed by
A Whiter Shade of Pale: Platinum in 19th-century Jewellery
Platinum jewellery is usually considered to be a twentieth-century phenomenon, with companies such as Cartier bringing it to the forefront. In truth, however, this intriguing and often intractable metal has a long history in jewellery, ranging from ancient Egypt and Pre-Colombian Ecuador through to the rapid advances in the eighteenth and nineteenth century with even beer and Coca Cola® playing a part alongside innovators such as Janety and Tiffany & Co. This presentation will consider this often neglected aspect of jewellery history, focusing on the nineteenth century, but closing with a brief look at the introduction of white gold alloys in the early twentieth.
The story behind ‘Hungarian’ opals
Of all precious stones, it is opal that presents the greatest difficulties of description. As Pliny the Elder said, it displays at once the piercing redness of garnet, the purple brilliance of amethyst and the sea-green of emerald, the whole blended together and glowing with a brightness that is quite incredible. Until about the end of the 19th century the Kingdom of Hungary was the principal supplier of this beautiful stone. In the past, however, it came to the market because of fraudulent trading as ‘Oriental Opal’. The aim was to increase the selling price and keep the source in the Carpathian mountains concealed. But the truth had to come out in the end.
Calling all Potential Lecturers!
The Society of Jewellery Historians would like to try something a little different in the lecture programme for October 2019. Instead of an evening lecture by a single speaker, we’d like to invite three speakers to each give a short paper (20 minutes maximum) which presents original research or ideas about any aspect of jewellery. Jewellers, historians of jewellery, dress historians, or keen researchers (young or established) in the field may apply. Subject summaries of 250/300 words gratefully received by Niamh Whitfield
(e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org), by 15 March 2019.
Travel expenses and a night in London (if applicable) will be covered.
Brooches, badges and pins at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Links to previous Lecture Programmes