Friday, 28 February 2014

inspiration overload

This month I took a long awaited day out. A trip to London to meet up with three dear friends and to visit the Cheapside Hoard exhibition at the Museum of London. Wow! For those of you not in the know, it's a hoard of 17th century jewellery which was found in a cellar.
The hoard. image Museum of London via History extra.
The stashed treasure silently hid, surviving the Fire of London which swept away the houses above it. Listened as the rumble of cart wheels changed to the rumble of motorised vehicles, waited as a thousand conversations took place in buildings that rose and fell above it, until one day in the 19th century a workman's pick broke into the hiding space and light flooded in to re-ignite emeralds and amethysts, exquisite enamels, strangely carved jewels and magical objects of desire.

The Museum of London exhibition team deserve an award for sure, thoughtful touches like suspending the jewellery so we can gaze at it 360. informative and engaging videos, and a slide show to show each piece in huge detail. There is even a little nose high door in a wall where you can peek in and sniff the very perfumes that would have filled the filigree pomanders; so essential in a city teeming with life and open sewers.
I know you'll want to see more so here is a link to History Extra.com which has a great slide show of the pieces (and where I borrowed the image from). And a link to the museum page here. If you don't have time to visit, treat yourself to the book of the exhibition, it is a fascinating read and of course, packed with images.

The visit was made perfect by being made in the company of friends, and more importantly, friends with creative imaginations and as excited as me to see such exquisite craftsmanship. We each found favourite objects and for me it was the perfection of detail in tiny enamelled flowers on lavishly long chains. These were worn loose and plentiful over board like stomachers that fronted the elaborate brocade gowns of the day.
Jewelled chains. Postcard image. Museum of London


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