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.
Purchasing the Past: Consumers of Irish Facsimile Jewellery, 1840-1940
A new analysis of Irish consumption patterns has conclusively demonstrated that members of all political, economic and social classes, with the exception of the poorest members of Irish society, adopted facsimile jewellery as signifiers of personal and national identities between 1840 and 1940. Records of facsimile jewellery, primarily ‘Tara’ brooches, from newspaper articles, advertisements, classifieds and contemporary photographs provide a previously untapped resource for public consumption and usage. Five main categories emerge from a breakdown of the records, which include notices of lost property, wedding gifts, costume and dress, presentations and prizes. When situated within four distinct phases of Irish facsimile production, these reveal the life-cycle of the trend for Irish archaeological-style jewellery.
Christopher Thompson Royds
My work as a jeweller
Christopher Thompson Royds will be discussing his work as a jeweller. Since graduating from the RCA in goldsmithing, silversmithing & jewellery (2010), he has become known for work that breaks the distinction between jewellery and object art. His practice has always been tied to narrative; the idea that an object or jewel can be a conduit to multiple stories. Represented by European gallery Marzee, and Louisa Guinness Gallery, London, Christopher has been taking common English wildflowers as his point of inspiration for a growing body of work. Initially this formed the collection Natura Morta; necklaces, traced from hand-picked pressed flowers, cut in paper-thin gold and silver and hand painted directly onto the metal, recalling the tradition of collecting pressed flowers both as mementos and scientific specimens. Pieces from this collection can be seen in the collections of Crafts Council; UK, CODA Museum; NL, MIMA; UK, Rotasa Collection Trust; US, Schmuck Museum, Pforzhiem; DE, V&A Museum, UK. More recent work has gained another dimension; life-like representations of wildflowers in gold, life-size and placed in vases, which hold the jewels when not in use, become still-lifes when not being worn.
Clasps: 4000 years of fasteners in jewellery
Anna Tabakhova, the author of 'Clasps: 4000 Years of Fasteners in Jewellery' reviewed in JHT issue 30 (Autumn 2017), will present a technical and art historical survey of clasps from the Bronze Age to the 21st century. Her talk will be based on wide-ranging research carried out in 22 museums and in 30 countries. She is also a collector and working jeweller, so will bring a unique perspective to this essential, but long neglected, element in jewellery. She has identified five different types of fastening methods for jewellery worldwide, and will explain how they work, paying particular attention to some remarkable examples in British and Irish museums.
Designers and Jewellery: Jewellery and Metalwork from the Fitzwilliam Museum 1850-1940
The Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, holds excellent examples of jewellery and metalwork from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This lecture, which accompanies a display at the Fitzwilliam Museum (31 July - 11 November) and a book, published by Philip Wilson in July 2018, will reveal the history of many of these pieces and some of their original designs. Jewellers represented include some of the finest historicist designers, including Castellani, Giuliano and John Brogden, Arts & Crafts designers Henry Wilson and John Paul Cooper and the artist Charles Ricketts, who designed unique pieces for his friends Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper, known collectively as Michael Field.
Personal cameos of Roman date in the Content Family Collection
The Content family's collection of Roman personal cameos is special not merely because of its size, but also because of the taste and scholarly acumen evident in its assembly. Part of the collection was published by Martin Henig in 1990 but the much expanded collection has recently been fully researched in a new catalogue, The Complete Content Cameos, by Martin Henig and Helen Molesworth, with additional contributions by Christopher Cavey, Derek Content and Jeffrey Spier. This talk, based on their joint study, will highlight the diversity of the collection spanning several centuries and put it in its broader context of Roman art and culture.
The story behind ‘Hungarian’ opals
Brooches, badges and pins at the Victoria and Albert Museum
Links to previous Lecture Programmes