Happy 30th Birthday Prince William and enjoy your day with your wife, family and friends in Anglesey ... a quiet celebratory interlude between army duties and the formalities of royal life.
Yesterday I went up to Goldsmiths’ Hall to see an Exhibition the Goldsmiths’ Company are hosting in association with the World Gold Council. The press had given it a golden glow – and it was free ... an opportunity not to be missed.
Prepared to be dazzled – and should you be in the London area ... please get to see it – just north-east of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The two Princes had established a charitable foundation in 2009, of which the Duchess of Cambridge is now a Patron – as the three of them share similar charitable interests – and the Foundation in conjunction with the Goldsmiths’ Company is supporting those in need.
|The Gold Irish Lunula, |
c.2000 - 1500 BC
The assembled collection is the most comprehensive and ambitious exhibition ever staged at the Goldsmiths’ Hall, and tells the rich and previously untold story of Britain and gold, demonstrating the country’s unique golden heritage.
It features more than 400 gold items ranging in date from as early as 2,500 BC to the present day, including rare and exquisite works of art, pieces of exceptional historic significance and others which are esoteric, curious and amusing.
|Gold and Garnet pendant brooch|
- Canterbury collection c 7th C
Anglo-Saxon burial site
All the exhibits displayed over three floors at Goldsmiths’ Hall have been loaned from distinguished institutions and private collections and many have rarely been seen in public before.
|St Vedast's Churchyard - now|
courtyard with bench seats
I walked past the Church of the Guild, St Vedast’s, which had a lovely little courtyard away from the hustle and bustle of the City outside ... where I ate my lunch ...
The range of objects is incredible – some are predictable, from golden chalices and baptismal fonts, to a mechanical mouse, the Middleham Jewel, a 15th C diamond shaped pendant inset with sapphire and blue enamel ... recent Anglo-Saxon finds – the Staffordshire Hoard – to lunulas circa 2,000 – 1,500 BC.
|Gold and pearl mechanical mouse c 1810|
This is unlike any exhibition you have ever seen before or are ever likely to see again. It looks at gold in Britain via its many facets – geological, historical, scientific, monetary, artistic and symbolic, and it is full to bursting with beautiful things and curious facts.
|'M' brooch mid 14th C|
With 100 different institutions and private collections lending to this show – this is a golden mass convergence ... this metal that means so much, that has changed the course of history ...
As The Daily Telegraph’s Richard Dorment states ... ‘an exhibition about gold could have been a lugubrious trawl through the vaults ... but it is the wit and high spirits of this show that makes it so much fun’ ...
|Gold Court Jerkin for the coronation of|
George 1 (1714)
Where else would you see a gold and pearl mechanical mouse from 1810, a gold tea pot, a 21st C gold handkerchief and a hat of woven gold wire thread ... or an oak tree in leaf, complete with tiny caterpillar and snail?
This engaging, educational, thought-provoking, awe-inspiring exhibition illustrates, that, even today, this most precious metal has the power to captivate audiences with its universally mesmerising allure.
I will come back to this Gold Exhibition as there are some truly wonderful tales to tell ... and for those of you who can visit before July 28th – please do ... and for those who can’t visit I hope you can get a feel for these golden declarations of workmanship through the ages ...
Some wording taken from The Brochure for the Exhibition and The Telegraph (Richard Dorment;
An article and short video (2.20 mins) can be seen here at the Evening Standard - well worth a look.
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