Friday, 25 October 2013

The Cheapside Hoard at the Museum of London

The Museum of London has a fascinating new exhibition, which illuminates the discovery of a hoard of 16th and 17th century jewels and beautifully crafted pieces of jewellery. The hoard was found in the Cheapside area of London in the early twentieth century by builders and this is the first time that it has been displayed in its entirety since 1914. 

My favourite piece by far is this salamander brooch, made from Colombian emeralds and table cut diamonds set in gold with white enamel detailing:
It always fascinates me how jewellery techniques have barely changed even since Roman times and the skill used in creating the jewellery in the Cheapside Hoard is evident. 
Another element of the hoard's allure relates to why it was never reclaimed after being buried. It is possible that the craftsperson responsible for this exquisite work went to fight in the English civil wars and unfortunately didn't survive. Or was the hoard stolen and the thief apprehended before he/she could fence their score?
Whatever the reason, the importance of this hoard is clear. It is a time capsule of styles and techniques from four hundred years ago and the exhibition is well worth visiting. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment