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Last chance to see spectacular jewels at the V&A
A dazzling array of precious jewels is on display at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum until Sunday January 19th 2014. Exhibits include items worn by a whole variety of royalty and celebrities, from King Charles I to Marilyn Monroe. The Pearls exhibition provides visitors with an insight into how pearls have been sourced and traded throughout the ages starting with Roman times, continuing through to the Medieval period and carrying on until the present day.
The significance and cultural status of pearls over the years is also explored. Visitors to the museum can learn about the methods that are used during pearl fishing and can also discover the technique that is used for manufacturing cultured pearls. Over 200 stunning pieces of jewellery are on display alongside various works of art. The pieces come from collections owned by the V&A as well as the British Museum, Tate Britain and the Royal Collection. Pieces from well-known jewellers including Tiffany & Co, Cartier and Bulgari have also been provided.
The oldest exhibits are some ancient Roman jewels believed to have been made around the 1st century AD. In addition, a pearl-drop earring that was worn by King Charles I at his 1649 execution will be on display alongside a Maharaja’s coat that has been elaborately embroidered with pearls and dates from India in 1870. Other items worn by royalty include some finely enamelled buttons framed in pearl that belonged to George III in 1780.
Items that have been worn by fashion icons also feature in the exhibition. For instance, a necklace made of cultured pearls given by Joe DiMaggio to Marilyn Monroe in 1954 will be on display along with Elizabeth Taylor’s 1972 Bulgari pearl-drop pendant earrings. Portrait miniatures and paintings of various courtiers, nobles and wealthy merchants who are wearing pearls will also be available for viewing. Make sure you take advantage of your last chance to see this ‘gem’ of an exhibition at the V&A. The Victoria and Albert Museum is located in the centre of London and can be easily reached by public transport from all London hotels.