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03 December 2019Jewellery of the Renaissance
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Jewellery of the Renaissance Clare Phillips Tuesday 03 December 2019

Clare Phillips is a curator specialising in the history of jewellery, based in the Department of Metalwork, Silver and Jewellery at the V&A. She is the author of Jewellery from Antiquity to the Present and Jewels and Jewellery.  Clare contributed to Art Nouveau 1890-1914, Art Deco and International Arts and Crafts, and curated Bejewelled by Tiffany (Gilbert Collection, 2006). She has an MA in the History of Design from the Royal College of Art, 1989.

This lecture takes us from the end of the Middle Ages to the beginning of the seventeenth century, years of immense splendour when wealth and style were exquisitely expressed through the art of the goldsmith. With the emergence of new sources of gemstones more jewellery was worn than ever before, and with the refining of techniques such as enamelling, ever higher levels of craftmanship and intricacy were achieved. From the simple magnificence of ropes of pearls to the complex glories of Renaissance pendants we explore the lavishness of court jewellery and the multiplicity of messages it could convey. Surviving pieces-from the small dress jewels to bejewelled lockets for royal miniatures- will be examined alongside contextual material such as contemporary portraits.