V&A Jewellery Galleries

My visit to the V&A museum and what I learnt in terms of jewellery making.

V&A Jewellery Galleries

My Portfolio ReviewOn the 28th October 2015, I travelled to the Victoria and Albert museum to observe the different styles of jewellery and to create a review on what I had found out and enjoyed from the experience. I visited the jewellery gallery, the metal-ware gallery, and the sacred silver and stained glass gallery, each of which were intriguing in their own way. I walked around observing the pieces on display whilst taking notes and drawing pictures. Unfortunately the galleries of my choice did not allow photography.

The galleries I visited showed many different uses of metals in jewellery, such as granulation techniques, used by the ancient Etruscan's, where small gold granules are attached to a surface with no soldering, leaving no visible attachment lines. I also learned how culture and religion affected the style of jewellery, as well as the latest trends. Personally, I found this fascinating, as I had not realised how many ways in which the time and culture could influence jewellery. For example, in the Victorian era, the large dresses worn by women had no pockets, and so a piece of jewellery called the 'Chatelaine' was created. It was a large elaborate silver piece hanging from the waist, with useful everyday objects dangling from a decorative pendant. Keys, penknives, tweezers, scissors and more hung from the Chatelaine, showing how beauty was used in harmony with necessities. I learnt that jewellery can express faith and belief, for example the French Signet Pendant shows how religion and design can be combined to create a unique piece - 3 parts unfolding on hinges to reveal scenes from the Bible.

For my own arts award, I plan on designing and creating my own pieces of jewellery with a theme of Ancient Greece and Egypt, which I was inspired to do when I saw how greatly culture influences styles.

When I begin designing my own pieces of jewellery, I now have an idea of how to go about it - researching the colours, styles, trends, and cultures of the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians.

The museum showed the types of jewellery through the ages, including the Romans, Egyptians and all the way to the present day. The way the jewellery styles were arranged in a timeline format around the room made it easy to see how different eras affected the types of jewellery, for example the pieces from the 1930's were generally diamond encrusted with silver outlines, showing their for the sparkling yet colourless effect.. The pieces are gorgeous and each tell a story of their history. I would definitely recommend visiting these galleries whether it be to study the evolution of jewellery or simply to admire the pieces. I have been to other galleries similar to this, however the Victoria and Albert holds the most informative one I have seen so far.

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Kashmini Shah

Kashmini Shah Contributor

Hi, I'm a Politics and English Literature student based in London!

I love to do deep-dives into the political, psychological, or social messages projected by media, both overtly and subliminally. I'm a huge fan of books, and can most likely be found hiding somewhere in a library with a fantasy or feminist book in hand.

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  • Emrys Green

    On 11 February 2016, 08:03 Emrys Green Voice Team commented:

    It sounds like they have a really interesting collection and I'm pleased it was useful for your own award too!

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