Tag: gold

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A gold spider web

Spider web on the lid of an eighteenth-century Paris snuffbox

The Gilbert Collection was formed by an American Englishman, Arthur Gilbert, who loved to tell the stories behind his treasures. Here are two eighteenth-century masterpieces which Arthur Gilbert might have shown his guests on a dark and stormy Halloween night. Are you sitting comfortably? A golden spider web This intricate mother-of-pearl box is an unmissable […]

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Hidden Treasures of Berkeley Castle (… and a few not-so-hidden ones)

Berkeley Castle, picture courtesy of Jackie Pennington

One of Britain’s most historic and atmospheric properties, Berkeley Castle, is holding an exhibition throughout September called ‘The Hidden Treasures of Berkeley Castle’. The exhibition shows rarely seen items from the Berkeley family collection, including a beautiful, gold, Saxon ring decorated with dogs’ heads and delicate gold filigree, which has been in the family for […]

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Golden Glitter: Recreating the aventurine speckles on the Dresden Cabinet

Gently heating the film with a hairdryer to soften it ©Tristram Bainbridge

Today’s post comes from Tristram Bainbridge, Furniture Conservator, who has been working on this eye-catching 18th-century writing cabinet for display in the new Europe Galleries. The cabinet will feature in the Fantasies display, which explores fashionable Europeans’ fascination with Chinese and Japanese imagery and the resulting hybrid style that became known by the French term […]

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Love and Nature in a Gold Beaker

Pyramus and Thisbe (detail)

This is an updated version of an earlier post, first published on this site on 7 October 2014   An outstanding object in the wonderful Gilbert Collection  of the V&A caught my eye as curator Heike Zech and assistant curator Melodie Doumy took me around the storage facilities while the galleries are being renovated. My own […]

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St. Eligius

Eloi head

Today’s Sanctus Ignotum, St. Eligius (ca. 588 – 660; known in French as Eloi), followed a successful first career as a goldsmith with a later one as a saint. The signs of his later holiness appear obvious to me (admittedly I am a smug, 21st century know-it-all). He miraculously made two golden thrones using the materials […]

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Gilty Pleasures

If there was one thing that that William Kent was good at, it was gold. Actually he was good at many things, but he approached gilding with a taste or ‘gusto’ that, quite literally, dazzled his contemporaries. Kent’s love of gold can be traced back to the years he spent in Italy as a young […]

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