The V&A Gallery: Londons hidden gem

Last week we took an inspirational trip to the V&A jewellery gallery in London, in preparation for the launch of our next collection. For anyone that is interested in Jewellery we would definitely recommend a visit. The building itself has some rather interesting intalations including the glass sculpure hanging in the entrance hall. Here's a selction of photography we took as we looked around.

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The V&A has one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of jewellery in the world. Over 3,000 jewels tell the story of jewellery in Europe from ancient times to the present day; from a great gold Celtic breastplate to medieval love rings and pendants given by Elizabeth I to her courtiers; from jewels by Cartier to animals by Fabergé; and jewellery by an international selection of contemporary makers.

Colourful lighting intalation that hangs as the centre piece to the balcony

The ceramics and glass gallery had some amazing pieces on display.

The William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery displays 3,500 jewels from the V&A's jewellery collection, one of the finest and most comprehensive in the world. The gallery centres principally on the story of European jewellery during the last 800 years. On show are jewels that reflect the splendour of courtly life, some of the finest designs from the great jewellery houses of the 20th century and jewels designed by important contemporary makers. The display shows jewellery through the ages including;

  • Ancient world jewellery
  • Medieval jewellery 1200–1500
  • Renaissance jewellery
  • 17th-century, 18th-century, 19th-century jewellery
  • Arts & crafts jewellery
  • Art Nouveau jewellery and the Garland style 1895–1910
  • Art Deco jewellery to the 1950s
  • Contemporary jewellery

Selection of rings using every type of gem stone fading from one colour to the next.

Historic highlights include jewelled pendants given by Queen Elizabeth I to her courtiers, and diamonds worn by Catherine the Great of Russia. The age of Napoleon is represented by the famous Beauharnais Emeralds, the gift of Napoleon to his adopted daughter, and by tiaras and ornaments worn by the Empress Josephine.

On display are exquisite pieces made by some of the most prestigious designers of New York, Paris, London and St Petersburg. There are two diamond tiaras by Cartier, a rare plique-à-jour enamel and pearl bracelet by Boucheron and a gold Chaumet bangle with a core of rubies and diamonds. Among the objects by Fabergé is an enamelled snuff box with the diamond monogram of Tsar Nicholas II.

Over 140 living goldsmiths and jewellers are represented in the gallery. The contemporary work ranges from ring sets by Wendy Ramshaw to a carved pin in recycled acrylic by Peter Chang and a vivid papier-mâché neckpiece by Marjorie Schick. Another addition is a selection from the Royal College of Art Visiting Artists Collection.

Leonardo Da Vinic Sketch books showing some very tiny sketch work.


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Squashed hanging trumpets

Ceramic sculpture

Glass sculpture in the entrance hall

V&A entrance