Lecture Programme 2017
Gold and Garnet Cloisonné Jewellery: Recent Discoveries and New Perspectives
Gold and garnet cloisonné – cellwork set with thin slices of garnet stone – was used to decorate some of the most prestigious ornaments made in the early Medieval period. The technique flourished from the mid-3rd to the mid-7th century AD before a waning of garnet supplies led, or contributed to, a cessation in manufacture. Why this happened and why production of jewellery and accumulation of stones persisted longer in some regions than others remain key areas for investigation. Recent scientific investigations of Medieval garnets, aiming to identify both geological sources and trading patterns between the Indian subcontinent and Europe, have provided some possible answers. At the same time magnificent finds from the far ends of the trading spectrum – Central Asia and Anglo-Saxon England – suggest new directions for investigation of these questions.
AGM followed by
Face-to-face with David Callaghan
For the second talk of his period in office as President of the Society, David's lecture will take the form of an 'interview' with Clare Phillips on the subject of how the jewellery trade has changed over the 60 years that David has been part of the trade. Possible themes within the talk will be how the role of the West End retailer has changed; the relationship between the dealer and the retailer; the role of the auction houses; the effect that Purchase Tax had on the trade. Members are invited to send questions in advance, regarding areas of the trade about which they are curious, to the SJH website address. It is hoped that the evening will be less structured than the Society's traditional lecture format.
My Jewellery Collection: Confessions of an Art Historian
It is not easy for an art historian and a design critic to admit to being a collector, especially of jewellery. Is it a case of naked greed, the urge to impress, or what? In my case, one reason was complicity with my students who had started to present their work. If one person buys a piece as a sign of admiration for their creative endeavours, others follow. The same goes for the work of the jewellery artists that I have written about. But there are many more reasons why I started to collect Dutch jewellery from the 20th century and why my husband and I donated about 500 pieces to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in March 2010, to celebrate the defense of my thesis called ‘Jewellery in context’ for my doctorate at the University of Leiden.
Sparkling Times and My Work So Far
When Andrew Prince was nine, his mother took him to the ‘Princely Magnificence’ exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, where he saw splendid Renaissance jewels dating from 1500 to 1630. He decided then and there that he wanted to devote his life to creating beautiful jewellery. In this talk he will explain how he designs and makes his crystal jewellery. This has appeared in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Tatler, films such as The Young Victoria, television series such as Downton Abbey, and exhibitions such as ‘Tiaras, Past and Present’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Mag. Paulus Rainer, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
40th Anniversary lecture
Benvenuto Cellini’s Salt Cellar: Some new thoughts, some new discoveries
The so called 'Saliera', the golden Salt Cellar finished in 1543 for King Francis I of France, is not just the only extant piece of work by the celebrated goldsmith and sculptor Benvenuto Cellini; it is also a unique and typical work of Mannerism and one of the most important objects in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. A research project, which comprised technical approaches as well as historical and art-historical problems, resulted in an extensive new monograph. Some of the most fascinating thoughts contained therein will be presented in this talk.
Additional 40th-anniversary lecture
Hidden Gems - Jewellery Stories from the Salesroom
Raymond Sancroft-Baker, co-author with Sarah Hue-Williams of ‘Hidden Gems - Jewellery Stories from the Salesroom’, will discuss not only rare and important jewels, but also unusual pieces that have passed through his hands in the 30 years he has spent in Christie's international jewellery department. He will draw on a wide range of periods, cultures and countries, revealing the origins of certain jewels and gemstones as well as stories regarding their owners. Sarah Hue-Williams will also be present to answer any questions, and both authors will be happy to sign copies of their book, available for sale this evening at a reduced price.
The Rise and Fall of the Chatelaine
It is unusual for a particular type of jewellery to appear, be widely used for over 200 years, and then suddenly disappear from use completely. This is what happened to the chatelaine, a name only coined in the later years of its use. In this talk the chatelaine will be considered in the context of the world in which it was designed, made, sold, purchased and worn. Its relatively brief history throws light on the changing structures of the jewellery industry in the UK and on society during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
‘A timeless and classical perfection’: Cartier gold boxes, a visionary patron and a bet with Ian Fleming
In 1969, the collector Peter Wilding bequeathed to the British Museum 17 gold, gem-set and enamelled cigarette boxes made by Cartier. This lecture reveals why and how he commissioned these boxes, with much new source material, while interviews with the craftsmen who made them demonstrate their remarkable virtuosity.
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