Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Shoegazer Visits: The V&A Museum, Ldn. Pt 1.

Part One – Jewellery.
Last Friday I visited the V&A Museum and spent a couple of hours looking round at many of the various sections. My favourite section, the jewellery rooms, had a no photography policy which is a shame because there were so many beautiful pieces I’d love to have blogged about, but I took notes and have tried to search a few out online to share with you. First is the work of Norwegian jeweller Tone Videland. I absolutely fell in love with a chocker necklace of hers that was on display. This is the only picture of it I can find online, unfortunately the piece is spread out and not hanging as it would when worn so you can’t quite see how stunning it looked:

The piece involved layers and layers of black metal feathers with a few gold slithers providing a highlight and some delicate gunmetal chain seemingly holding the whole thing together.
Displayed alongside the necklace was this quote from Vigeland:
“The way I got the idea for the feather series came from pure luck. A friend from Bergen came to me with a set of black iron nails. I found that when I hammered them flat they had a lovely character – almost like black feathers.”
Next to catch my eye was the enormous collection of rings housed in the jewellery rooms. I think one of my favourites was a towering, crooked silver house ring by Michael Burton. Again, I’ve searched online for an image and this is the best I can find – a different house ring in bone, but you get an idea:

Elsewhere I was taken with the Art Nouveau-style jewellery on display by the likes of Rene Lalique (France 1860 – 1945) and Lucien Gaillard (France 1861 – 1933). A lot of this work features intricate metal work in the fluid, natural lines so associated with the Art Nouveau movement and finished with subtly colourful enamel. Here is an example of work by Lalique:

A rather beautiful collection of pocket watches also caught my eye and I particularly liked the unusual octagonal watches dating from 1620 – 1630. This is the best image I can find to illustrate what they were like, though this watch seems more oval:

If only the curators hadn’t been so vigilant! Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Next up will be a post about the rest of the museum and fashion.

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